"Sometimes you laugh because you've got no more room for crying. [...] Sometimes you laugh because you're alive and you really shouldn't be." (4.76)
Even though Mau's entire family is dead and Daphne may never see her home again, the two share some humor. This is why people laugh at funerals. Especially clown funerals.
Some of the children were coping better than the adults. (9.191)
Mau observes this phenomenon as more people arrive on the island. These children have lost their parents, but they're adjusting to it. Kids are resilient—just ask anyone who's dropped one.
"Locaha is no one's servant." (11.250)
Mau observes that First Mate Cox seems to fancy himself Death incarnate. He's not; Death answers to no one. It cannot be controlled. When Death calls, you have to answer.