I Believe in the Healing Power of Laughter

Tyler - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on September 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of laughter. Laughter can cure sickness, lower stress, break awkward silences, dissolve anger, and unite family and friends. Yes, I firmly believe in the power of laughter. Perhaps that is why I look to laughter in every situation of life; whether it be appropriate or not. I like to believe that laughter is able to fix any problem, big or small, and that life would simply not be bearable without the medicine that is laughter.

When I think of a time when laugher is most useful, I think of death. Fortunately death has not been a frequent visitor in my life, but the few instances that I have experienced have taught me that in order to make it through some of life’s most brutal challenges one needs to be able to laugh. It doesn’t matter what we laugh about, just laugh. When I was fifteen my grandpa died of cancer. The loss was tough, not only on me, but especially for my sisters and mom as well. Our family dealt with the grief quietly for the first few days, but just could not seem to shake the heavy feeling that was perched on our shoulders.

Something had to be done to break us from our dismal spell, and it wasn’t until my dad decided to take a chance to lighten our hearts until we began to see some light up ahead. See my dad is a pretty lighthearted guy who gets accused of not taking life serious enough. Yet it was and is my dad that was/is able to get us through tough times with his ability to make us laugh. We were sitting around the dinner table one night, nobody really saying a word, when my dad cracked a joke about the funeral and the lame old guy that delivered a speech about my grandpa. He was treading in dangerous waters, but just like that my younger sister spit out her water from laughter and in harmony everyone busted into laughter. The mood lightened from here on out, and for the rest of the dinner we laughed about all of the memories that we had of our grandpa. As small as this occurrence may seem, it had a large impact on my life. I realized that the power of laughter is greater than the sometimes overwhelming power of disparity.

Since the time of my grandpa’s death, I have become more and more like my dad. I have developed the ability to make light of every situation that comes my way, which of course gets me into trouble more often than not. A few weeks ago my girlfriend’s grandma passed away from cancer. She was devastated, and being that she is an overly emotionally person to begin with, times were terribly gloomy. I patiently sat aside, grieving with her when she needed me, but as time passed, I realized it was up to me to try and lighten her mood and help her get passed her grandma’s death. I cracked the usual jokes, complimented her to get the typical giggle, and of course passed gas when it was completely unnecessary, after all that is the best way to get a laugh in my opinion, at least for a little anyway. It took a little while to bring her back to her typical bubbly self, but with the use of laughter her mood was lifted.

Laughter, through my experience with grief, is the best medicine. After all, what really matters in tough times is your attitude…