One day my laughter went away, not the chuckles, but the deep, hearty, soul cleansing laughter that makes your heart feel lighter and allows your worries, fears, and anxiety to fade away. One day that laughter disappeared from me and it was replaced with forced laughter that everyone assumed was true and genuine. No one ever thought the laughter didn’t ring true, they never thought that it was forced or that it was edged with tears, frustration and pain.
I believe I lost my laughter somewhere between making a living, living a life, raising children, loving grandchildren and burying parents or maybe it was watching the death of my marriage or maybe it was the day my soul grew weary. For whatever reason my laughter disappeared, and I hid it until life forced me to stop spinning and evaluated me. It disappeared until that one day I realized all my laughter had vanished.
I’m sure I sat one day in a room of others laughing and realized my laughter was forced. I know I may have looked around and wondered if anyone noticed. Truth is no one does because they are busy making a living or living a life and maybe their laughter is forced as well. I wonder how many of us laughing have forced laughter while living a life that is filled to the brim with busyness and complacency, with more trials than triumph and just a little despondency. I wonder if many of us sit and evaluate and think that maybe, just maybe the deep soul stirring, belly laugh, hearty laughter is our missing ingredient.
That one missing ingredient in the lives of many, the humility, the abandonment, the levity it brings to the hard press of difficult decisions, of every day routines, of the overwhelming responsibilities of making a life worth living is laughter. Had I not had that single moment where reality mocked me, I never would have acknowledged that laughter was needed. I forgot that not every moment is serious; I forgot that nearly every situation in life can be hilarious; I had forgotten how cleansing hearty laughter is; I forgot to laugh at silly, funny but not funny jokes told by my grandchildren. I forgot, and I miss it, that full heart-felt, soul cleansing, fully unrestrained, soul deep, hearty laughter.
Rosalind Stewart-Jackson aka Roz