Is It Okay To Be Funny?? The Use of Humor in Grief
Emotions become all jumbled when we are experiencing a loss. We might cry at the drop of a hat or feel like our brains are mush. But one thing that surprises a lot of folks is when they start laughing!
Now I am a huge fan of laughter. Some of my greatest stress releases have been when I am laughing hysterically, tears coming down my face, literally rolling on the floor and pulling a muscle in my stomach! It sounds a bit dramatic, but I feel such an endorphin rush afterwards that I just let it happen. And thanks to YouTube, I can often find those hilarious memories of many years ago and continue to enjoy them.
That endorphin rush is very important, though. When we are weighed down by grief, it can be a tremendous relief to let the tension snap. We are not wired to stay bottled up and shut down for huge chunks of time, ready to have the top pop off. Sometimes it just flies out, sometimes it is planned.
At funerals, wakes, memorials and the like, it can be such a wonderful moment to share a special memory of a loved one. A story of something they did that was silly or touching or generous not only rounds out the sorrow we might feel, but also gives a rich portrait of this person and why they mattered so much to us. And these moments of levity can be such a relief during a process that can be laden with so much heaviness.
I will, however, offer one caveat (as I often do).... Humor is a very sensitive subject. What might be funny to one person, might be hurtful to another. It might be advisable to ask if it is alright to mention a certain story or aspect of the deceadant's personality. Jokes about faults or embarrassing anecdotes may not be welcome.
So yes, I do believe humor can have a wonderful role in honoring your loved one, and will grow more useful as you heal. Humans are complicated and leave complex legacies. Remembering the funny times helps paint a full picture of their lives, as well as makes US feel good.
If you would like to speak to me personally about the above subject or any topic surrounding Grief, Loss, coaching or healing, click here to set aside a personal Free ½ Hour Empowerment Call. You are not alone.
Claire M. Schwartz www.youcanhealyourgrief.com
Leading You Back into the Light after Loss