Weekly Devotional

Why I Laugh

Reflection by Cathy Riley

 “…we can help others get up, even when for them to do so seems impossible or at least beyond imagining. Or if it can't be done, we can sit with them on the ground, in the abyss, in solidarity.”  
-  Anne Lamont


Anne Lamont, a contemporary writer, has a saying “laughter is carbonated holiness and bubbles are spirit made visible.” She recently included this phrase in a post following Robin William’s suicide this summer. His comic genius brought holiness to multitudes but he somehow lost his connection to life. Depression took center stage and the curtain of suicide closed and claimed yet another victim.

As someone who has lost a loved one to the ravages of mental illness, I, like many other survivors relived the pain of that loss when the news of William’s death hit the airwaves and newspapers. Even after 26 years that scar still bleeds easily and all too often. Just yesterday I learned that the eldest son of our Maine summer neighbors tried to take his life by jumping off a campus building where his parents dropped him off just three weeks ago to begin the newest chapter of his life as a college freshman.

I carry a small, smooth stone in my pocket or purse as symbol of my triumph as a survivor. When suicide altered my life I held onto those rough rocks that my life became, even as my hands bled from the sharp edges. I slowly developed a layer of skin that began to smooth those jagged edges. I found solace and insight by turning that stone as a reminder of my survival and acceptance.

I pray that I will continue to choose to live a life with plenty of laughter and bubbles because spiritual holiness is my rock and salvation.  Amen

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