The rain has been relentless for three days now. The sun has remained hidden behind the heaviest of clouds and each morning I wake hoping to see her glorious rays. As I ponder my thoughts I hear the drops rhythmically dancing on the window sill. Streams of crisp, clean water are pouring from the eavestrough in an attempt to drown the earth. The wind is howling, tossing the branches wildly about. They look helpless and afraid. When will it end? Will the sun return and the wind calm? I need to feel the warmth on my face and see the light of day shine among the clouds.
Grief is one of the most difficult feelings to describe. For me, today it feels like the weather. I have also learned that it comes in many forms and changes at any given moment. It has the ability to darken our world with indescribable sorrow. One where we can never imagine ever feeling the sun on our face again.
What I am here to remind you about today is laughter. Yes, you read that correctly. Smack dab in the middle of a blog post about grief, I want to remind you to laugh. If you have stumbled upon this post hoping to find a way through grief, you have likely read many articles. All of which point to levels of grief and how we should muddle our way through it. Not many remind us that not only is it okay to laugh, but it is really great for you.
Laughter has been proven to heal in monumental ways. When a person laughs it lowers cortisol levels and increases the production of dopamine, endorphins, immune proteins and T-cells. These help in the following ways:
- Puts things in perspective
- Makes challenges seem less daunting
- Increases problem solving.
- Allows one to take themselves less seriously
- Stimulates our creativity
- Generates a sense of control over circumstances that initially seemed distressing, threatening and all-consuming.
- Eases physical pain
- Strengthens immune function
- Decreases stress
- Increases relaxation
- Elevates mood
- Decreases feelings of depression and anxiety
- Increases bonding among family and friends
- Enhances teamwork
- Helps diffuse conflict
- Boosts morale
I know what you are thinking, how am I suppose to laugh when I am feeling such sorrow? Yes, it will be a while before you find things to smile about. In those early days the memories of our loved ones brings tears and sadness. We feel such raw emptiness at times that we truly cannot ever imagine it ending. A moment will come, the clouds will lift and the sun will be shining. The relentless rain will give way to warm rays. The winds will stop howling and the branches will be still and soft. In that shift you will realize you are smiling at a random, silly, funny, unique, memory of your loved one. Let yourself feel that. Talk about all the wonderful stories, the stubborn habits and the great experiences. Before you know it the laughter will come.
Be patient with your gentle heart. While you are waiting for that rain to lift simply curl up with a classic funny movie and a bowl of popcorn. Find a great comedy series on Netflix and grab your favourite chocolate. Lean on your friends and family.
We all have to weather storms in this life, let’s laugh while we hang out under our umbrellas.
Much Love ❤