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‘Get ready with me for my boyfriend’s funeral’: TikTok creator normalizes using humor to process grief in viral video

A TikTok comedian filmed a “get ready with me” (or “GRWM”) video in preparation for her boyfriend’s funeral, and now her video is going viral — and arguably helping to normalize the different stages and faces of grief.

Paige Gallagher (@pgally) gained over 7.2 million views, 829,000 likes, 26,000 saves and 10,000 comments after uploading the GRWM video to her account.

Now, TikTokers are applauding Gallagher’s video for capturing a side of grief not typically depicted or discussed — a side that Gen Z and young millennials seem more accepting of and comfortable with than previous generations.

‘Felt unhinged might delete later’

Gallagher begins her video with a tongue-in-cheek warning for viewers: “If you’re not in the mood right now to watch a 20-bleep-year-old lose her mind on the internet, then keep scrolling.”

The video’s caption is equally facetious, poking a bit of fun at her current state of mind: “felt unhinged might delete later.”

“I know what you guys are thinking. ‘Why are you making this video?’ And guess what? I don’t know. I just felt like it, OK?” Gallagher said at the top of her video.

While she didn’t provide details on how her boyfriend died, she said that since losing him two weeks ago, it’s been “hell on earth.”

“For those of you who have experienced loss and just, like, keep going on with your life … I will never be able to relate to that kind of strength. I am losing my mind. I’m so mad at him. He was my best friend.”

She continued, “I don’t know if anyone who’s experienced loss can relate to this, but it feels like I’m playing some kind of VR game. … Nothing feels real or tangible or relatable.”

She ended the video by yelling at viewers to ignore her dirty laundry (“I’m literally grieving!”) then signing off with a kiss to Connor (presumably her late boyfriend).

Who is Paige Gallagher (@pgally)?

Gallagher is a 27-year-old TikTok comedian based in California.

Best known for her skits depicting “the girl who peaked in high school,” Gallagher has amassed a following of over 1.1 million on TikTok and 72,000 on Instagram.

Her skits that narrate invitations to a fictional baby shower, a wedding, a bachelorette and gender reveal party (as well as the occasional divorce party) have also gone viral on the app.

The clinical role of humor in the grieving process

Gallagher’s video isn’t the first time a tongue-in-cheek video regarding grief has made viral waves online.

In 2022, 21-year-old Trinity Wright (@rickandmourning) and her 12-year-old sister made headlines when they filmed themselves rapping Soulja Boy’s “Rick & Morty” in front of their mother’s open casket.

“Day one of singing ‘Rick & Morty’ to our mom until she comes back from the d3@d,” their onscreen caption read.

While many viewers condemned the video as being inappropriate, the sisters later defended themselves, saying the experience was “therapeutic” and that filming the TikTok provided them with a moment of humor during a difficult time.

According to Dr. Marilyn Mendoza in Psychology Today, psychologists consider a sense of humor an important strength for coping with life.

“Death itself is never funny, but the situations before and after can be filled with opportunities for laughter,” wrote Dr. Mendoza. “Humor buffers us from the negative effects of stress. It helps with pain and mental anguish and can make a serious situation less taxing as well as less threatening.”

She continued, “When we are in the depths of despair over the loss of our loved one, it is hard to think that we will ever smile again, let alone laugh. One of the tasks of grieving is to learn to laugh again.”

‘We never get to see this side of grief’

In response to Gallagher’s GRWM video, over 10,000 TikTokers responded in the comments — many of whom praised the TikTok creator for her candid perspective.

“Don’t delete this. We never get to see this side of grief. This is real, relatable, and I’m so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing,” wrote @krtp272 — a comment which gained over 27,000 likes.

“Grief is weird and difficult and not something everyone can understand because we all grieve differently,” commented @emmmmmmmma26_.

“I don’t think this stage of grief is acknowledged enough, but it’s so real,” wrote @cassiemarie_13.

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