The Power of a Laugh

Georgia - Newport News, Virginia
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the power of a laugh. After a death when everything seems hard, or after someone becomes sick with cancer and you have no idea how to deal with the news, sometimes it’s just best to laugh, and more often than not, laughter is contagious. I have seen the power of a laugh and how it can bring a family together. While it may be hard to get a laugh, it never fails that when that laugh comes out, there is a new person in the same body.

I vividly remember the night of my father’s passing. I cried that night, but not hard. I felt my job was to console my sisters and my mother and the rest of my family. I knew I had to help everyone else feel better. But what would console everyone at one time? Then it hit me: a joke. But not just any joke. It was a joke that made everyone laugh before when my dad told it, and made everyone smile when I told it.

That was when I recognized the power of a laugh. I saw that everyone’s spirit was lifted and they were not grieving, but laughing. And that made me happy. I promised myself then that not one day would go by that I didn’t try my hardest to make someone laugh at least once.

Recently, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. She has further proven to me the power of a laugh. She is very sick and only continues to get worse. While this is hard for our family, she reminds us every day that if she is laughing and joking around to make us laugh, then we are not allowed to sit around and suffer for her.

My aunt was first diagnosed with colon cancer, the same cancer that took her father when I was six or seven. Doctors slowly started discovering cancer in her liver, then her stomach, then her lungs. A mere two weeks ago, over the course of about two days, she went almost completely bald. When I saw pictures my cousin sent to me on my cell phone, I could not help but cry. I felt so terrible for her. Seconds later I received another picture message from my aunt posing and showing off the new wig her mother-in-law and family had gotten her. My aunt had once again reminded me that you can only suffer for someone as much as that person is suffering. She was laughing and poking fun at herself for wearing a wig, so I couldn’t help but chuckle when I got the picture.

I believe in the power of a laugh because I have seen what a laugh can do for someone. Even after the death of my father and other family members, and my aunt’s struggle with cancer, I believe that a laugh is more powerful than any drug or therapy. Have you laughed today?