Falling for a Son-in-Law Nov. 2013

Humor and laughter are vital elements to a happy life.  Humor is better than medicine – the bible says so:  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22; A cheerful heart is better than a face lift: A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: Proverbs 15:13; Humor is even helpful in working through grief: — weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5.

After the most difficult days of their lives, a young widow and her mother made a trek to the fresh grave of the widow’s husband. Not only had their hearts been darkened by this unexpected loss, but, also, the skies had been darkened by many rain clouds. The father-in-law of the deceased had been to the grave site to put down sod to keep the dirt from washing away.  After the two women arrived, they stood for some time in solemn remembrance of the young man.  As the rain started in again, they thought it best to go ahead and place the fresh flowers on the tombstone. The mother-in-law took the flowers, stepped on the new sod to reach the proper spot, and when she did, to both their surprise, her forward leg sunk down to the hip in the wet dirt. “I know it must have hit the vault,” she later reported. With great effort, she pulled her leg out, with the suction sound of a cow pulling its hoof out of mud, only to find her shoe was still in the hole.  Down she went again to retrieve her shoe.  By that time, both women were wet, not only with rain, but also with tears from laughter. The bizarre event evoked laughter for the first time in a week.  Since that time visits to the grave, remembering that event, induce tears of laughter, as well as of normal grief.  If this young man, who met an untimely death, could look down from Heaven, he would laugh longer and heartier than anyone else about his mother-in-law falling for him.

Contemporary research demonstrates humor as a coping strategy, as a sign of good mental health, and as a tool for healing grief. http://shop.pesi.com/product/the-use-of-humor-in-grief-recovery(6574)

As we make our list of things for which to give thanks this season, let’s put the ability to laugh high on the note.

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