Will I survive? Will I ever be happy again? These are questions that Harriet Hodgson asked herself after she was left to raise her twin grandchildren, while grieving for four family members, including her daughter. Harriet reminds us that we are not alone in our grief and, though losses may define our lives, they will not destroy them.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation website, The Grief Toolbox website, and The Caregiver Space website. Hodgson has appeared on more than 180 talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer's and bereavement conference. Her work is cited in Who's Who of American Women, World Who's Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. She lives in Rochester, MN with her husband, John. Please visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy author and grandmother.
Laughter is part of being human. Thank goodness! Some people who are grieving feel guilty about laughing. There is nothing to feel guilty about. Our loved ones would want us to laugh and enjoy our lives.
Several times, after four family members died in succession, some funny things happened to me, and I had some belly laughs. I was grateful for the laughter and the release it provided. More important, I was glad I could still laugh.
Today, I am my husband's primary caregiver. In 2013 his aorta dissected and he had three emergency operations. During the third operation he suffered a spinal stroke. He was hospitalized for eight months and finally dismissed to my care.
During this time I cleared out the house we lived in for 20 years and built a wheelchair-friendly townhome for us. We are settled and snug and laugh a lot. Laughter is part of every day at our house. This brings us closer together and is an expression of love.
You may be in crisis now, facing challenges you never thought you would face, and they are nothing to laugh about. Don't give up on yourself or humor. Laughter will return and you will feel grateful for it. Each laugh is a testament to resilience and the gift of life.
Happy Again!: Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss
My wacky New York sense of humor may save me,” I told my husband. I made the comment early in our grief journey. Humor had saved me before and I knew it could save me again. Surely I would find something to laugh about, even in the midst of sorrow. You may not believe it now, but you will find things to laugh about as well. Laughing is fun and it releases tension