When Reg first died, laughing felt inappropriate; I felt guilty when I laughed. As I explained earlier in this book, I watched a comedy on TV within a week of Reg’s death. We had watched this program many times, but this time, it was particularly funny. I remember laughing hard and thinking maybe I shouldn’t laugh. But Reg had a great sense of humor and cracked jokes daily. Every day he made me chuckle. So, I decided it would please him to see me laughing, and he would want me to laugh.
Almost three months after he died, Reg’s sister visited me in Denver. One day, we sat on my couch looking at my wedding photos. His sister hadn’t been able to attend our wedding, so she’d never seen the photos. In person, Reg was handsome. However, he was not photogenic. His sister and I laughed hysterically as we viewed some of his unattractive photos. In fact, we giggled so hard we cried. Again, I figured Reg would be happy to see me laughing, even if it was at his expense.
Gina and I hiked quite a bit after our spouses died. During those hikes, we frequently laughed, often about our spouses. We especially laughed when discussing a situation I had one night with my remote control. Reg had linked the televisions in the living room and bedroom. One evening after he died, I woke up and turned on the TV in the bedroom. Out of the blue, the TV switched to a show featuring origami. I was blown away and thought maybe Reg had somehow switched the channel from heaven. I couldn’t figure out why he wanted me to watch origami though. Did he think origami would help with grief?
Suddenly, the TV switched to basketball. Reg was a sports fan but didn’t watch basketball. I sat there wondering why Reg would want me to watch basketball. Finally, I decided Reg probably wasn’t manipulating the TV. I went into the living room and found my cat Taylor sitting on the remote control. Somehow, because the TVs were linked, Taylor had switched the channels as he sat on the remote. Gina said she knew she liked me after hearing that story. We have since cracked up at that story many times.
I recognize that laughter may feel wrong after you’ve lost a spouse. I also understand that you may not want to laugh, especially when the grief is so heavy. Laughter helped me though; it provided brief moments of respite from the grief.
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