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Why It’s Essential To Find Humor During Your Darkest Hours

Little Monks Laughing

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

During my pregnancy with my second daughter, Grace, a routine scan showed that the baby had a rare and serious heart defect.

From that moment onward, my husband and I started walking along the most challenging, heart-breaking, and gruelling road either of us has ever traveled. The journey often saw us cry, but you may be surprised to hear that we laughed a lot too.

On the day of the scan, the fetal cardiologist spent a long time scanning our baby’s heart. When she had finished, she sat us down to explain her findings. Up until that point, we knew that the problem was serious but we didn’t know the exact diagnosis.

She took out a pad of paper and began drawing a detailed diagram of a heart. She then looked up and asked, “How’s your biology?” My husband (who has one failed attempt at a biology GCSE under his belt) looked worried, as if he were fifteen again and she was about to test him.

“Not good,” he said apologetically. Even in the midst of such a traumatic experience, I found this small part of it funny. So I laughed.

There’s no point trying to be solemn for solemnity’s sake. Even in the darkest, most trying and difficult moments, I believe if something is funny, you have to laugh. Seize the opportunity to escape the situation, even if for a few seconds, and welcome the release.

On the day of Grace’s funeral, as my husband and I sat together clutching each other’s hands, the choir began the first song.

I had never properly heard my husband sing before and it was the poorest display of tone-deaf screeching I have ever been subjected to. It was also extremely funny and I couldn’t help bursting in to fits of giggles (everyone else thought I was crying).

You may think me heartless—how could I laugh at my own daughter’s funeral? Believe me, that day was the saddest and heaviest of my life. Minutes earlier, when my husband and I carried Grace’s tiny white coffin into the crematorium, the pain was so intense that I didn’t think I could make it.

And then suddenly, my husband once again exercised his great ability to make me laugh. The laughter lightened me for a few moments.

A minute of laughter allowed me to momentarily forget my sorrow and the heavy burden was temporarily lifted.

Grace only lived for one day. I will never know the person she would have become. But I do know that she would have loved me and she would be happy that my laughter helped me endure the pain of losing her, even if it was just for a short period.

My husband is a very funny man who has me in stitches every single day (so much so that sometimes I can’t even stand up).

He hides this from the rest of the world, and I feel privileged to be one of the few people he shows this side to. When we were at the doctor’s office and Grace’s funeral, he wasn’t trying to be funny, and yet even during the most difficult of times; he still has the ability to make me laugh.

When Grace died, many people told me that the burden of grief would probably cause our relationship to become strained and difficult.

We were given lots of well-meaning advice and yet our relationship didn’t suffer at all. Indeed, we became stronger and developed an even deeper bond. I think humor had a lot to do with this.

The ability to laugh every single day, despite our grief, pulled us through our mourning together. I came to admire my husband even more for his strength, compassion, kindness, and (of course) his wonderful sense of humor.

Laughter is a remarkable healing force, allowing you to forget yourself and bond with the person you are laughing with.

I have witnessed friends who, when going through tough times, stop themselves from laughing at something (even though I know they would normally find it funny). We have a tendency to halt our laughter because it doesn’t seem right or appropriate, because we might feel guilty if we let it go.

Laughter is always right and appropriate (as long as it not at someone else’s expense).

In your darkest hours, if you find something funny, allow yourself to laugh. Many studies have shown that laughter and humor have a huge array of benefits including strengthening the immune system, reducing pain, and stress and increasing energy.

If you are going through a difficult experience or are generally feeling down, humor may accidently find you. Embrace it.

And if you don’t come across it by chance, track down a way you can lose yourself in some proper laughter. Watch a film that never fails to make you chuckle, speak to a humorous friend, or read a funny book. It’s not wrong to laugh when things are tough; on the contrary, I promise it will help.

Little monks laughing image via Shutterstock

About Aimee Foster

Aimee Foster is mum to Susie (5), Freddy (1) and baby Grace. She is the co-founder of UK based friendship site, mumamie.com, and has helped thousands of mums reduce the loneliness that sometimes accompanies motherhood by enabling them to find like-minded mums for friendship and support.

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  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    “I have witnessed friends who, when going through tough times, stop themselves from laughing at something (even though I know they would normally find it funny). We have a tendency to halt our laughter because it doesn’t seem right or appropriate, because we might feel guilty if we let it go. Laughter is always right and appropriate (as long as it not at someone else’s expense).” Thank for you that REMINDER! 🙂

    P.S. So sorry about Grace’s loss; my condolences to you both…you two are an inspiration.

  • Aimee Foster

    Thank you for reading and for your kind words x

  • Laisha Marquez

    Thank you very much for this, it’s important for everyone to remember that even in the darkest times of life, it’s still perfectly okay to laugh. It does help greatly, as you’ve said many times here. And I hate the hear about what happened with Grace, but I’m glad you and your husband have come out stronger and closer. Maybe you two continue to be strong and happy together.<3

  • Aimee Foster

    Thank you so much Laisha, I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks for reading! x

  • இடுக்கண் வருங்கால் நகுக அதனை அடுத்தூர்வது அஃதொப்பதில். (திருக்குறள் 621)

    When you face a challenge or serious trouble, do laugh. There is no better way to overcome it. (Thirukkural 621)

  • Aimee Foster

    That’s a great quote, I completely agree!

  • Aimee Foster

    This approach has always helped me. Thanks for reading.

  • What a beautiful post Aimee, your sadness is so raw and your love for baby Grace shines out. And to smile and laugh is the loveliest way to remember her. Much Love, Michelle (a Mums Blogging Club Mummy) xxx

  • lv2terp

    Wonderful post! Laughter is such GREAT medicine I agree! I love when you wrote…”There’s no point trying to be solemn for solemnity’s sake. Even in the darkest, most trying and difficult moments, I believe if something is funny, you have to laugh. Seize the opportunity to escape the situation, even if for a few seconds, and welcome the release.” Beautifully stated! Thank you for sharing your insight! Beautiful! 🙂

  • Aimee Foster

    Thank you so much for commenting and reading the post 🙂

  • Aimee Foster

    Thanks Michelle – we remember Grace every day with a smile. Thanks for reading and commenting xx

  • i bring in 85 bucks each hour working onlìne from your home. my good friend ìs makìng ten thousand dollars on monthly basís by workìng thís job although ì never believed that ít was possìble and she showed me, get more detaìls by looking at lìnk on My profìle

  • oh yeah, i love hyperbole and a half too! shes brilliant

  • PineCone

    Laughter is a great gift.

  • Nathan Knight

    This is true. I have a friend that had to attend 3 funerals in a month. Whenever she got home I would let her tell me about the people who had recently passed away and see her laugh as she recounted the funny things they had done while alive. She apologized every now and then for laughing in what seemed like a dark time and I would remind her that they would appreciate her remembering them with such happy times.

    I also did a small essay about laughter and found that it isn’t just good for you but it develops a general affection for the one who is making you laugh. This reminded me of Disney and especially Pixar which always makes me laugh and cry. Laughter isn’t just good for making you happy, it’s also great for making you care.

  • amazing online job opportuníty for everyone. start working for three to eight h daìly and get in the range of 5000-12000 dollars monthly; get paíd each week; fínd out more on my profìle

  • Wayne Logan

    Laughter, like crying, is an emotional release. Denying the body of either is not healthy.

  • Aimee Foster

    Absolutely

  • Thank you Aimee for your story. It does make me stop and think. if you can find something to laugh at during those times in your life then I have nothing to complain about. I should be laughing all day and night. Thanks for sharing and I will remember to laugh daily because Aimee in her darkest hour could find something to laugh about. Thank again

  • pip

    Aimee, this is a beautifully written piece. I’ll happily admit that I both cried and laughed while reading it (in fact sometimes I did both at the same time, I think!) Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and compassion.

  • Aimee Foster

    When my husband first read the post he was crying and laughing too. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment

  • Aimee Foster

    Thanks Rose, what you said really means a lot to me. And thanks for reading

  • Seth Traver

    I gave a eulogy at my (non blood but still family) sister’s funeral last year. After crossing out cliches line after line and overruling numerous mentions of how sad things were (because of course we knew we were all sad, that she was in heaven, etc) I ended up bagging the whole speech on, funny enough, how terrible of a singer she was. This of course was a segue into appropriate song lyrics for the people she left behind (her and I were “Bosom Buddies” from Mame, so still keeping humor in it) and concluded with the fact that she still sang, even though she wasn’t that great at it, because she was just an enthusiastic happy person who couldn’t let a song pass her by. By the time I got to my conclusion with a surprise video of her singing the most god awful rendition of “If O Had A Hammer” you could imagine, the laughter was uproarious!! Her mom was doubled over even, and later told me how great it was to be laughing herself into tears for the first time in quite a while. There were and still are days full of tears and sadness, but when her birthday rolled around last week the main topic was how great the laugh felt that day, a gift I felt so honored to share with them!
    Sorry for the book lol

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    i set it ìn my profìle; it shows how a
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    employment

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  • ioana chitan

    beautiful writing 🙂