What if I told you there is a place in your life where you get to laugh again out loud.
What if, no matter where you have been, how much you have suffered and how steep the hill is ahead.. you too can have magical moments.
While you are climbing. While you are in pain. While you are lost.
You can find a moment where joy can sneak in.
I actually remember the first laugh I experienced after loss.
It was two days after my husband died, and I laughed out loud because someone said something really funny.
Then I covered my mouth with my hand as I was shocked, ashamed and full of guilt that I could laugh during one of the worst days of my life.
After that experience I spent years not laughing.
I spent years not wanting to laugh.
And I spent years looking at people who tried to make me laugh with anger.
I don’t want you to be like I was.
I don’t want you to lose the capacity to laugh out loud.
And if you already have, I hope this letter to you today will change the course of your laughter.
Laughter comes from the kid part of you, the part of you that feels alive no matter what.
So, I put together some tips on initiating a laughter experience without guilt after loss:
- Make yourself watch a comedy. Even if you are not in the mood. Find something funny and sit yourself on the couch with some popcorn and watch it. Make sure you laugh even if your laughter is quiet and short lived, it happened and your body and mind had the experience of it. Don’t worry, your laughter will get better with time. Your laughter will get louder with more practice. Your laughter will be contagious one day too. Just start with a funny movie, and everything is possible.
- Practice laughing for no reason at all. Just laugh. Laugh when you are driving alone in the car. Laugh in front of the mirror in the bathroom. Laugh and then cry if you have to. But laugh with yourself. You are actually funny. You are funny, and you can laugh at how funny you are. I think laughing with yourself for no reason is hilarious. I am laughing right now with you. Did you just laugh? 🙂
- Remove guilt from your laughter. Laughing is like eating, sleeping, walking; it is part of your humanity. Part of what keeps you alive. If you feel guilty when you are laughing after your loss please know that you shouldn’t. I personally know that the person you lost wants you to laugh. He/she wants you to laugh so loudly that they can hear you from wherever there. So give them what they want. Please. Laugh and be present and know they can hear you. And know that they are laughing with you.
- This is the most challenging tip. Rediscover your own humor and make someone else laugh. Yes, make someone else laugh and laugh with them. Then ask them if they can cry with you too.
Grief does not go away because you laughed out loud. I wish it did. But what does happen is so extraordinary.
Life hears you laugh and comes closer. Life takes your laughter and brings you joy in your life.
It is a signal for life to get more intimate with you. It is a step towards living again.
Don’t let your laughter be forgotten.
Your homework for this week is to laugh. Laugh my friend, no matter how much loss you have experienced.
Laugh your heart out, it’s ok. You’ve got this.
And please be guilt free when you laugh. Anyone who thinks you should not be laughing needs to get kicked out of your life today.
And as for me, during the ninth year after my loss, I remembered my laughter and now I naturally laugh many times a day.
Quite often I have tears of happiness while I giggle, and I can honestly say it is one of the best experiences of my life. Here’s to your laughter after loss.
With renewed laughter,