Laughing during a pandemic?

Miriam Gwynne by Miriam Gwynne Additional Needs

Miriam Gwynne

Miriam Gwynne

Full time mum and carer for two truly wonderful autistic twins. I love reading, writing, walking, swimming and encouraging others. Don’t struggle a...

Laughing during a pandemic?

What is there to laugh about right now when so many are ill and dying? Shouldn’t we all be worried, focussed, mourning, serious and concerned?

Maybe so but laughter should still be heard.

In fact maybe we all need to hear it more than ever before!

There’s something extremely powerful about laughter.

It releases endorphins that make us feel better, helps with stress and boosts our immunity.

It improves our breathing, helps mental health and even aids sleep.

It connects people, strengthens relationships and can even improve your appearance!

My son can’t tell you a joke. He can’t tickle you or pull a funny face.

But his laughter is still contagious.

He probably has more reason than many not to laugh.

He has seizures, he’s unable to read or write, he has a progressive genetic condition.

He can’t speak. He gets highly distressed at routine changes. He has significant learning disabilities, a brain mass and mobility problems.

But in his 12 years of life there’s barely been a day when he hasn’t laughed and made others smile too.

He doesn’t understand pandemics or viruses. He has no concept of death or loss.

Restrictions on daily life are beyond his comprehension.

Things like social distancing, school closures, face coverings and hand sanitising are a complete mystery to him.

But he laughs.

He laughs at the sound of me dropping rubbish in the bin.

He laughs at water filling the bath tub.

He laughs if I accidentally drop a fork or knife on the floor.

He laughs when he pulls wipes out of the box one by one and throws them around.

He laughs at the sound of mail being delivered.

He laughs every single time the telephone rings.

And he laughs at the feel of snow on a winters day.

Oh how that made him smile and laugh.

It’s ok to laugh even when life is hard.

In fact maybe that’s exactly when we need to laugh the most.

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