Martin Short, 68, may be well-known for his comedic timing and being a leading funnyman, but as Short has come to understand first-hand, there is nothing funny about death.
As we all know, however, death is part of life, and while we all grieve and cope with loss differently, we could all learn a little something about how to cope with death by looking at the positive way that Short has continued to live his life after losing the love of his life ten years ago.
Martin Short has spent years building a career that has turned him into a household name as being a leading funnyman with roles in things like Saturday Night Live, Three Amigos, Father of the Bride I and II, and countless other films and Broadway productions.
What people may not know about Short, is that he attributes much of becoming the man that he is today to having his wife, Nancy Dolman, by his side throughout much of his journey. And although Dolman sadly passed in 2010 from ovarian cancer, Short still keeps her with him at all times – in spirit.
Short explained how he still communicates with Dolman, saying, “Our marriage was a triumph. So, it’s tough. She died in 2010, but I still communicate with her all the time. It’s ‘Hey Nan,’ you know? How would she react to this decision or that, especially regarding our three kids.”
Short and Dolman parented three children together during their marriage, who are now adults, Katherine Short, 35, Oliver Short, 32, and Henry Short, 29.
Short recently shared hos thoughts about death and what happens to us after we pass, explaining, “I believe that when people die, they zoom into the people that love them. The idea that it just ends, and don’t speak of them — that’s wrong … to me, she’s still here.”
In his 2014 memoir, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, Short elaborated on the idea that his wife is still with him, saying, “I’m still very much married to Nancy. In our 36 years together, we became so intimately familiar with the workings of each other’s minds that I can convincingly play out the conversations we would be having today, about things that postdate Nancy’s death.”
And while Short has surely grieved – and continues to grieve – the loss of his wife and life partner, he has managed to find a way to spin that grief in a positive way, “With real tragedy, you become a little more daring. It’s the yin to the yang: the positive part of life’s dark side.”
Furthermore, Short admits that a combination of losing his wife and growing older have helped him to narrow down his life goals to focus on the main goal – be happy and enjoy each and every day of his life. And he has a very simple way to organize his day to day life that allows him to continue working towards this goal.
“My life lists are more pragmatic. For decades, I’ve maintained a [bucket] list according to several categories of well-being: health, family, friends, money, career, creativity, self-discipline and lifestyle. Periodically I give myself a report card … Health: Have I had my annual physical? Friends: Do I need to phone so-and-so? To me, life is a practical experience each day, with a coating of ‘Be as happy as you can be’ on top.”
Practical advice from a man that we can all admire not only for his inherent humor but also for his wisdom on life, death, and loss.
Are you a fan of Martin Short? How have you coped with losing a loved one? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!