Many moons ago, a baby died in my belly. I was… devastated, to say the least, overcome by the loss of a life that I’d carried for only a few months. I nearly drowned in the grief, falling head first into the loss, too stunned to resist the gravity that pulled me below. I surrendered, completely, preferring to not come up for air, but I just kept living. And strangely, there it was to rescue me again.
Laughter came for me, awkwardly at first, lifting me to the surface, forcing me to take a breath. At first, just one laugh, but then another and another. One day, I noticed land in the distance, and eventually I thought that it might be nice to be on the other side. Finally, one particularly dramatic wave of emotion came for me and when it had passed, I was up on the shore.
Sometimes, I go back to dip my toes in the water. Sometimes, I need to remember. I might even wade around for a while, but the grief no longer consumes me. Laughter held me and healed me. It carried me through that hell.
Laughter is everything.
And it isn’t just for grief. Laughter builds community, solves problems, disarms hostility, cultivates peace, spreads joy, and a million other beautiful things.
Laughter helps people fall and stay in love. I met Kristin, the woman who is now my wife, on one of the hardest, most gut-wrenching days of my entire life. She didn’t just make me laugh. She made me laugh on a day when I hadn’t even had the emotional capacity to shower. She made me laugh, loudly. So loudly, in fact, that her coworkers later marveled about what might have gotten into me. It was over. I was sold. She was for me.
That was five and a half years ago, and I don’t think that a day has passed without my laughter bouncing off the walls of our home. I’ve lost countless hours of sleep and, on occasion, nearly driven my car off the road, because she made me laugh. I’ve often laughed so hard that tears fell down my face and my belly ached. I have laughed so much that I begged her to stop but the truth is, I never, ever want this to stop. Luckily, it doesn’t have to. We vowed about it.
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