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Laughter Promotes Connections, Healing, and Hope

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Just saying … one time many years ago my family had taken a trip to Oregon. Six of us had decided to go shopping and, of course, my son was with us. We were all in one car – three in the front and three in the back. My son was seated in the back seat next to the window and started to laugh to himself repeatedly for no apparent reason. I thought to myself, “I know how to handle this” – I am a psychiatric nurse; I have attended many Family-to-Family classes – I am very capable of putting everyone at ease with the situation. I casually said to my son “When you laugh to yourself like that and the rest of us don’t know what you are laughing at – it makes us very uncomfortable”. He thought for a minute – then said, “Well, mom – it’s my mental illness, but if you all want to laugh, you can join in anytime”. Needless to say, we all did … it’s all about that hope!

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