Laughter: I want to tell you something about laughter; laughter is a huge healing tool. Most of you can probably remember where you were the first time you really laughed, after your child died. You immediately felt guilty, but you also felt alive. It took you by surprise. We have to laugh. It sometimes takes a while to do it without guilt tagging along. Short story from last year’s gathering, going up in the elevator, Cindy was asked by a stranger “Your group down there seems to be really having fun, laughing and all, how can I join your group?” Cindy says “Well, you have to have one of your children die.” The man never said a word, turned his back, got off at the next floor, I don’t even think it was his floor.
We laugh and toasted our children. Believe me, laughter can bring some life back into you. It brings out some feelings you thought you tucked away for good. We each carry around so much sadness and homesickness; we don’t think there is much room for anything else. But as we all find, as time passes, we learn to adjust our lives and our heart and soul, to live with these things, implement them into our lives, so that we are not weighed down with them. You will find eventually that laughter finds its way back in, makes itself at home with the sadness and homesickness. Oh I still cry and there are days that is all I want to do. I have those days because I need them.
This may sound harsh, my child died, a very large part of me did that day also, but as we each have found out, the sun came up the next day and we are still alive. My husband said early on,” I don’t want to be the man shuffling down the street staring at his feet, with people saying “oh that’s the man whose son died 20 years ago.” We are still here and obviously there is a reason for us to be living now.
We have each found out just how short life is. We don’t know when it will be taken away from us. Use each day to bring laughter into your lives and into someone else’s. This journey is a rough one, we can shuffle along the whole time or we can bring some life into it, some laughter, some healing of our hearts.
My son had a saying, “When life brings you lemons, throw them at people, it’s a lot more fun.” My son brought so much laughter into our lives and everyone around him; I didn’t want that to die also.
My signature everywhere I go is Always Laugh. It is tattooed on me, on my checks, on my truck, on my shirts….it’s how I sign everything. I will continue to throw lemons at people, make them smile and help them realize laughter can help in their healing. Lee Ann Hutson