Covid denied her a proper funeral, so it meant a lot to see the love for her from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kristen Schaal and others

My cousin Catie Lazarus died last month. She was 44. No, not from Covid – the other big C, which, it turns out, does not take a break even during a pandemic. One of Catie’s and my running jokes was about how Jewish we both look: “We’re like a Nazi propaganda poster,” she said, catching our reflection in her bathroom mirror when I stayed with her in 2014, just after she started chemotherapy. So I like to think she would have got a kick out of the fact that she died in the middle of Hanukah. Although she would have then joked that she wasn’t sure if that made her a good Jew or a very bad one.

Covid denied her a proper funeral, so it meant a lot to Catie’s family to see all the love for her on social media, from people including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Kristen Schaal. Because Catie wasn’t just my cousin, she was a public figure, one who was interviewed in the New York Times and written about in the New Yorker. She was a lot of things – a writer, a comedian, a podcaster – and underpinning them all, she was just funny. God, she was funny. Whether she was on stage or just chatting with me, she would throw out funny asides like a catherine wheel spitting sparks. But she always laughed hardest – a big, open-mouthed laugh – at other people’s (less funny) jokes.

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