Before my mother’s mother died last month, she said to her daughter,
“Always make people laugh.”
The last words she spoke before incoherence overtook her were that simple. Keep ‘em laughing. Cultivate lightness in your heart and share it with others. Coming from a woman who lived life so thoroughly with heart, the purity of her words rings true.
I spent most of August held in a time-and-travel vortex in California where I read Paulo Coelho, caught up with old friends and navigated the aftermath of losing two loved ones amidst shifting family dynamics. Death is a door to an inevitable and deep contemplative well. And Death came knocking not once, but twice in August — back at it again with the disruption within hours of its first visit. On both occasions, Death came unannounced. Now that’s just bad company, but amidst the great, heavy, almost intolerable loss, it did offer a gift. Death consoled our heartache by giving us time and space with the most important people in my world, to laugh and cry in warm embraces. It reinforced the miraculous beauty of life, the unpredictable nature of nature, and the inexplicable gift that somehow we’re here at all, alive and dancing together on a floating rock.
In his book Aleph, Paulo writes, “I know that I am in all the people surrounding me, and that they are in me. Together we write the Book of Life, our every encounter determined by fate and our hands joined in the belief that we can make a difference in this world. Everyone contributes a word, a sentence, an image, but in the end it all makes sense: the happiness of one becomes the joy of all.”
So with that… Always make people laugh.