The proverb says, “he who laughs last, laughs best.” Actor and comedian, Del Close must have believed those lines. According to the BRI (Bathroom Reader Institute), a source of much trivial knowledge, Mr. Close played the role of Polonius in productions of Hamlet. Polonius is the father of Ophelia and the chief counselor of the King. His most memorable line (at least the most quoted) is from Act II Scene 2, “Though this be madness, yet there is a method in’t.” The common way to say that is “There’s a method to his madness.” But I digress. Mr. Close longed to play another role in Hamlet, he wanted to play the Jester, Yorick. But alas, poor Yorick is dead.
Del Close, however, got he last laugh. After his death in 1999, his will had specific instructions that his remains be cremated, and his skull preserved and donated to Goodman Theatre in Chicago to be used in productions of Hamlet. The playbill was to read in the cast, Yorick played by Del Close.
For some reason I find Close’s humor oddly funny. He found a way to get his wish and to live on.
I do not know of Close’s faith, his religious or lack of religious life. I do not know whether he died with an expectation of heaven. I do know that you and I can live on and not in a theatre as a skull with our name in the playbill. We can live on because in Christ, we do not have to die the second death. In Christ, we may die physically, but we live on in eternity. Thanks be to God who us this victory in Christ Jesus our Lord.