Laughter is the Best Medicine

Combination of Posts I wrote Friday and Saturday, so this is post is 22/23 of 100.

I have no idea where that quote comes from. All I know is that  it’s one of the truest phrases I’ve ever heard in my life.

Last week something really terrible happened and it shook my world up somethin’ fierce. I was faced with grief of a magnitude I have never before encountered. I was a mess. But I went to work the next day, and I dove into my job, hoping to drown out the sorrow in my heart. And you know what?

It worked.

I didn’t forget about the pain I felt, but spending time with people I care about really helped alleviate it.  What drove the pain almost entirely away, you ask? Well, laughing.

As I’ve explained before, my morning HELPS second grader is one of the funniest kids ever. Just talking to him brightens my day, no matter how dark my mood. So my morning dose of his humor started my day after The News on the best foot possible. Following that, my high (as in, high-level) group second graders are sarcastic, curious, and all-around hilarious. Plus, we were talking about Vikings and it’s hard for me to not enjoy my time talking about Vikings. When I spend my day at Local Elementary School, I am surrounded by people I enjoy. True kindness, generosity, and positivity absolutely engulfs me and it is one of the best places for me, especially with my current stressors. The pillow of positive emissions helps cushion my sorrowful heart and I could not be more thankful for the people there.

At Local Family Restaurant I am equally surrounded by smiles and laughter. Whether it’s commiserating over shitty tables or being proposed to by 80-year-old guests, I’m always smiling when it comes to my serving job. The atmosphere is so friendly and I love my coworkers so much. They all now know what’s going on and they try doubly hard to make my shifts positive- they are so incredibly kind. I love going to work because I know I’ll be doing something and I’ll be happy about it. That helps hide the grief away until a later time.

Even outside of school laughter follows me. I met a pretty stellar guy a couple weeks ago and he makes me laugh more than anyone has in a long time, even more than my joke-telling second grader. This guy, we’ll call him IT, is seriously hilarious. Spending time with him is an absolute pleasure and I’m getting rock-hard abs from how much I laugh when I am with him. I am truly grateful for his positive presence in this dark time. I’d be grateful anyway, but it means so much that he is able to break through my rain cloud with his bright personality.

Obviously, when I’m not laughing and I’m instead faced with some alone-time or time where I need to focus on other things (like blogging, for instance), I sit face-to-face with my grief and let it wash over me. I let myself dwell a little bit in my time without laughter because I know that the more I think about it the easier it will get. I still miss Alex, and I will forever feel a strange void when I think of my childhood knowing that such a permanent part of my life is no longer there. But I know that the memories are still there and he can never be erased from those, which is a comfort. The funeral is this week and I’m actually looking forward to it. Maybe reconnecting with other childhood permanents will help. Maybe we can laugh together and grieve together and realize that every day things will get a teeny bit better.

Every laugh, giggle, cackle, every guffaw, every chuckle, every single smidgen of a smile helps mend the pain. And I’m grateful for all of the people in my life who make me laugh. Thank you, all of you.

I guess laughing when it’s time to laugh and crying when it’s time to cry is how I mourn.

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