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Healing with humor

Kim Perone and her family weren't dealt an easy deck. She lost her son in a car accident and five years later, her sister to a rare form of cancer. But instead of bowing out and succumbing to the grief, she drew on her mother's strength and attitude to spin the tragedies into something positive.

I was talking about my mother and our relationship and how her personality impacted me and how I was able to cope with loss, said Perone, of Burnt Hills. "I started to see a real story curve with some funny stories about us and how she approaches work, life, divorce, marriage, death, everything."

Searching for an outlet for her emotions, Perone joined a writing group with the intention of writing a book about bereavement. After sharing short stories about her mother's funny antics, the scope of the project changed and she decided to meld humor and loss.

Her first book, "Vacuum Like No One is Watching" comes out Mother's Day Weekend on Saturday, May 7.

"It really reflects a woman's life because of laughter and tears," said Perone. "When some of the tears are heartbreaking, you realize how important laughter is and how it's elevated in your life because it's a key part of resilience."

Perone considers positivity to be a key part of a person's mental well being, especially in light of hardships like losing a loved one. Going through the grief process with her mother, she learned that humor helps make even the most devastating situation a little more bearable.

"You realize how important it is to laugh. Sometimes for all the pain in life, laughter becomes even more important," said Perone.

She didn't immediately turn to writing as therapy. It wasn't until her sister passed and she resigned from her job to spend more time in Connecticut with her nephew (who was only four months old when his mother died) did she realize it was time to write.

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