The Healing Power of Laughter

When a loved one dies, it’s a time of sorrow and grieving. It’s natural to feel sad and to mourn, often for a long time. On the other hand, it’s important not to discount the healing power of laughter. 

When you can find a reason to laugh, you know it makes you feel better for a moment. But did you know that laughter’s reach is much longer than a momentary good feeling? Laughter strengthens the immune system, increases endorphin levels, improves alertness, lowers blood pressure and increases the production of T-cells. In fact, laughter even helps the pituitary gland release pain-suppressing opiates. 

Being with loved ones, even when you’ve all suffered a loss, can bring a sense of camaraderie that often leads to laughter. A sense of humor can even be incorporated into the funeral.  

  • Humorous anecdotes during the service are appropriate unless the death was violent. Whatever is shared during a funeral service should, of course, be in keeping with the sensibilities of those gathered. 
  • At the reception, telling funny stories about the one who has died can help people connect and begin the healing process. Especially if the person who has died had a good sense of humor, funny memories will naturally come to mind as you chat with others who knew him or her. In addition to all the other benefits of laughter, this sharing of fond memories can help bring people closer together. 
  • Some people have even created humorous headstones for themselves. We don’t recommend choosing a joke headstone for a loved one if that person didn’t request it, primarily because it could offend or hurt the feelings of other people who loved that person. However, if you’re preplanning your own funeral, you can choose any inscription you’d like. Some examples of funny inscriptions on headstones in actual cemeteries include: 
    • “I told you I was sick.” 
    • “If you can read this, you’re standing on my boobs.” 
    • “Raised four daughters with one bathroom, and still there was love.” 

Humor, even in a dark time, is a great gift. If you want your sense of humor to shine through at your funeral, preplanning can help make that happen. At Skylawn Memorial Park, we’re experts in preplanning and are happy show you how simple the process can be. Call (650) 227-3142 or visit our Plan Ahead page for your free preplanning guide. 

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