Linda Ellerbee

Linda Ellerbee

I think laughter may be a form of courage. As humans, we sometimes stand tall and look into the sun and laugh, and I think we are never more brave than when we do that.

–Linda Ellerbee, American journalist

Many people feel guilty when they laugh during a loss. They ask, “How can you laugh at a time like this?” Since laughter can be as healing as tears, the question, perhaps, should really be, “How can you not laugh at a time like this?”

If something funny happens, laugh. If something funny doesn’t happen, don’t laugh. Just don’t ignore the laughter when something strikes your funny bone.

Sometimes, people feel guilty laughing when someone has died or they are dealing with a life-challenging situation. As long as you are not laughing at the deceased, the grieving, or the ill person, laughter can be as healing as tears.

Allow for both the tears and the laughter.


Open to Laughter

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined. One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step or pressing forward to the next one, but poised directly on the present step as it comes.

–Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American aviator/author

There is always something to laugh about. The problem is that when we are stressed out, or in the grieving process, we may not see it. But it is still there. Something funny might be right next to us but, like a horse with blinders, we don’t see or hear it because we are only focusing on our loss.

Take off those blinders. Be open to laughter. And don’t squelch it when it comes because, as comedian Fred Allen reminds us, “It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips.”


Humor and Hope

Bob Hope

Bob Hope

I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.

–Bob Hope, American comedian

Hope is the greatest treasure you have.

When all else fails, hope is something to hang on to.

Don’t give up.

And there is a strong connection between humor, hope, and laughter. When you can find something to laugh about, you are saying that there is hope for the future.

Laughter implies that you can go on.

Laughter implies that you will go on.

If you can find something to laugh about, even for just a few seconds, it is a sign that you can survive your situation.

If you can laugh for a moment, you can laugh for a moment more, and a moment after that one too.

Allen Klein
Allen Klein is an award-winning speaker who shows audience’s worldwide how to use humor and positive thinking to deal with life’s not-so-funny stuff. He is the best-selling author of The Healing Power of Humor and is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. The above selections are from Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying (Goodman Beck Publishing, 2011) Used by permission of the author. ©Allen Klein 2017
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