How does a humorist write about death? This is what I wondered when I opened Delia Ephron‘s memoir, which has a piece called “Losing Nora” about her famous sister. She relies a lot on the formula that we see in the quote above: she starts by saying the opposite of what most people think (in this case, about denial). Then she uses a comparison to make a joke. But, since this is in a eulogy, she doesn’t end at the punch line. She adds the last bit, softening it by inserting “of course” which gives the sentence a gentle cadence.
Delia Ephron, Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.), (New York: A Plume Book, published by the Penguin Group, 2013, p.3.