He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21, NLT
Laughter may be the last thing you are interested in right now and I understand. At least it was true for me the first months after my son passed away when grief was so raw. And the day I first laughed it shocked me. It sounded so foreign as if I had never done it before and yet I had missed it. I don’t share this to hurt myself or you but rather to embrace what is so difficult in the midst of grief. It takes a long time ~ no deadlines ~ to begin to accept that laughter is a healing balm and it’s okay to let it out. Our loved ones would want us to embrace tears of joy even if they follow on the heels of sadness. Does that make sense?
As the years have rolled on I have often longed to be refreshed by something funny. I have written about my cat, Pipy, who has always provided comic relief and I am grateful for his antics. So this piece is intended to encourage readers to enjoy a good belly laugh and give you permission to not feel guilty about it. You have not “moved on” and left your loved one behind. We will always carry their memories in our hearts and we honor them when we can recall precious memories. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, but when you are ready you will embrace joy again.
Technically I was not ready to hear funny stories known only to his workmates, but they were ready to share. It was unlikely that our paths would cross again and in spite of the pain, my soul hungered for anything that would make him real at such a time of mourning. These people, who traveled to attend the funeral, missed my son too. They couldn’t stay away and yet they felt they were intruding somehow. We tried to put them at ease by inviting them to join us for the meal after the service.
My firstborn son worked in a hospital where he repaired all kinds of equipment needed in the care of children. I was proud of his work; I know he did his best, but I never saw him in his work environment. I never met his workmates until they came to the funeral to support us. They were timid at first, not wanting to intrude on our sorrow, but somehow over lunch they began to open up and share their love for my son. I was all ears. It was in this setting, sitting around the room with plates of food on our laps that we ate and got acquainted. As they settled more easily into their chairs they began to share stories and I was eager to hear them. My son was quite the prankster and of course I knew that. Of the many stories they recalled, there was one that I remember well and I share it here in hopes that if not today, one day you too, will begin to remember the joyous sounds of your children loving life.
It seems there was this incident ~ and they all willingly put the blame squarely on my son as the culprit. The staff worked in close proximity where they charted progress notes, made phone calls and did other office business. This particular day everyone seemed to have business to attend to elsewhere leaving one unsuspecting teammate working at his desk all by himself. Later he said that fact alone should have tipped him off, but he was intent on his task at hand.
And then he felt a drop on his head. That made him look up at the ceiling tiles where the drip had obviously come from, but nothing looked amiss so he resumed his work. Then another drop. Again he looked up at the ceiling. No cause in sight. He resumed working . . . then another drop. Okay. Now he was suspicious. He added up the math and smelled a rat. First, his teammates were conveniently elsewhere (actually watching nearby) and second, either there was a leak right above his head or . . .
He push back his chair, climbed up on his desk where he could easily reach the ceiling tiles, and pushed one aside. Yep. Some prankster had hooked up an IV pump timed precisely ~ sending a drip to drop on his head. Brilliant.
This story made us laugh to tears . . . good, refreshing tears. They laughed too, just to recall how fun our son was to work with and relieved that we enjoyed the story. They would miss him. We miss him.
When we meet Jesus in the air we will be all brand new and yet recognizable with the same characteristics of our original design. I am certain that my son will still have his chuckle. I am sure he and his brother will be up to their pranks again and this time all over the cosmos. I dare to think trouble will follow these two. Good trouble; the kind that brings a smile to our faces and doubles us over with laughter. Can’t wait.
For what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die. 1 Corinthians 15:43, GNT