I have been having a lot of people share with me lately:
1) I was sitting at a funeral for my mother. They started to play a church song that my mom, disliked. They reached one particular line that she especially hated – I BURST OUT LAUGHING!
2) I was in a very serious situation, I had not been dealing with it well, it’s not a situation where you would normally laugh; and I BURST OUT LAUGHING!
3) I was working on a mechanical problem, lying flat on my face, trying to unscrew a difficult nut and bolt and, suddenly, I BURST OUT LAUGHING UNCONROLLABLY!
As a trained, certified laughter leader – I am required to keep abreast of new studies on laughter and smiling benefits and impacts on the body and mind. I also do a lot of my own observations and testing when I am out and about in public. When I give my laughter wellness talks or motivational-inspirational speaking, I share information and experiences people have shared with me.
When my father was dying, I was blessed with being with him at his last coule breaths. I was also blessed to be from a large family. My mother or other siblings would be with him, at the hospital, during the day; then I would come in the evening. My dad LOVED to joke around, clown around, with kids as well as adults. He had his standard set of jokes. When a non-denominational minister came into intensive care to visit, she started out serious and my dad made a joke. She was so focused on the ‘Here’s a dying man with a family member, I better show respect…’ she didn’t realized he had joked with her. I let her know he was joking. She stopped and looked at me. I said, my dad loves to joke around, and I smiled. ‘WELL THEN, SHE SAID! I CAN STAY RIGHT IN THERE WITH THE BEST OF THEM!’ The rest of her visit was LITE and FLUFFY and my dad had a smile on his face at the end of her visit, giving her a thank you.
When my dad passed on, I went to tell the nurses. They were ready to console me. I said, ‘Oh No! I’m great! It was wonderful to be here, see him let go so peacefully.’ We started to talk about a funny fishing story where my dad had put a safety pin on the end of a string so I could FISH at the canal near our home. We were laughing out loud when my mother arrived. She was also at peace that he had been able to let go and pass on peacefully.
EVERYONE GRIEVES and LETS GO of their own life and of their loved one’s lives in a different way.
I have had more and more people tell me how they laugh and smile when they MISS and GRIEVE their loved ones. I have a minister friend tell me a woman said to her: ‘IF YOU’RE HERE TO HELP ME DIE, DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE A** ON THE WAY OUT! IF YOU’RE HERE TO HELP ME ENJOY LIFE WHILE I’M STILL BREATHING, COME ON IN AND PULL UP A CHAIR!’
I had a representative of a Hospice, at a networking event, tell me yesterday (when I was at the event wearing my tinsel deely bobber headband): ‘YOU CAN’T WEAR THOSE AT THE HOSPICE!’ I was instantly shocked. I told her the story I noted above.
I respect everyone’s wishes and beliefs in grieving. Everyone’s wishes and beliefs are different and personal. I know MANY people that would be THRILLED to have me show up wearing Tinsel Deely Bobber Headbands if they were wanting to LET GO LITELY!
I heard of a family who lost their mentally/physically disabled son. They had a PARTY with BALLOONS at his viewing! Why? Because he LOVED PARTIES and BALLOONS! I wore PINK to a friend’s husbands funeral. He was a FUN LOVING FAMILY MAN and HUSBAND! He was KIND and CARING and FULL OF LIFE! He knew how to make you feel better when you were down, just by a kind word. I celebrated his LITENESS by wearing a LITE, BRIGHT COLOR to his funeral.
As for me – I want to LET GO LITELY and be seen with a SMILE on my face as I’m going to my next exciting adventure!
It’s OKAY to LAUGH at a funeral. Laughter isn’t all about responding to a joke. It’s OKAY to SMILE at a funeral. I tell people all the time – GRIEVING sometimes gets STUCK inside your body. Sometimes – planting a SMILE on your face or OPENING your MOUTH and LAUGHING allows the STUCK GRIEVING FEELINGS to SPILL OUT! I have had this happen to me on many occassions. When I feel STUCK – I open my mouth in a grin and sometimes start a tone to help my body let out, whatever it needs to process. Some cultures call this WHALING. It’s a healthy thing, to LET IT OUT and LET IT GO LITELY.
It may not be for everyone, but for those that wish – it should be allowed.
One of my favorite writings is by S.H. Payer: ‘Live each day to the fullest… be yourself, but be your best self… look forward with confidence and back without regrets…’
Another writer I like is: Don Miguel Ortiz who notes: Each day do you best. Each day your best is different, based on how you are feeling. So there are no regrets, because you are always doing your best.
If you need to LAUGH, laugh. If you need to CRY, cry. If you need to make a crack in your face with a smile to start a process, do it. No regrets – it’s your way of processing your feelings.
LIVE LIFE! LAUGH OFTEN! until your breath stops –
May you live till you LET GO LITELY with a smile on your face –
May you have the chance to make all your amends, forgive freely and know that you have done your best – and when you are ready to LET GO – LET GO LIGHTLY in the brightest of light with that smile emanating even after your spirit has left your body.
…with peace and a smile Ha Ha Helen Szollosy of LAFOLOT
Live Life in A-MAZE-MENT and make them wonder WHY you were smiling when you left.
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