This caused me to remember that about a year ago I began to force myself to laugh. I would laugh at the most stupid stuff and would laugh extra hard, extra long and extra loud. I made myself laugh. It was a very important decision I realize now a year later. I decided I needed to begin laughing again after DJ passed away and if it wasn't going to come naturally then I had to force it to happen. I can now laugh easily. Laughter still happens at the stupid things, I am sure it is still too loud but I am laughing and this is a huge step for a bereaved parent. I am thankful that I can laugh and find joy enough in things to laugh loud and hard--I even laugh at my own jokes--because if I don't who will? (insert laugh here).
How many times do we as a bereaved parent realize that an old behavior we used to have needs to come back? I knew laughter was missing in my life and I took a step- be it ever so small to change it. How often though do we forget about the good things and never repeat them?
Do you bake your child's favorite cookies anymore? Does the smell of chocolate permeate it's way through your house on their behalf? Or is your kitchen shut down of their favorite foods, never for the remainder of your family to have.
Do you watch the silly nonsense television shows that you used to enjoy with your child and laugh at them like you did before? Is that joy gone too with your child or are you brave enough to look for joy again?
Do you smell the flowers they loved? Do you have a bouquet of them in your kitchen in honor of their life? Is there a pot of them on your front stoop or did those flowers die with your child?
My challenge offered here is to try to find joy, find something to laugh at. It may be forced but those cookies won't bake themselves. You may cry while pulling out that recipe book and smelling those familiar smells but it is so worth it! Those flowers may bring joy to the rest of your family, may remind you of a much happier time. That silly show my cause tears of joy, tears of sadness but maybe tears that need to be released.
Everyone has something (boat loads full) of things that remind us of our children that we no longer do, that we have stopped doing altogether. Perhaps, like laughter we have to begin forcing ourselves to do them again. I have found laughter--what will you find?
(If you are waiting to order my book Flowers on a Child's Grave, Now What? I have ordered a second printing from the publishers and will be getting them hopefully before the end of June or first week of July. If you are local there are a few copies left at The Bookworm bookstore in Omaha)