The Powerful Legacy of Thanksgiving Day Laughter

The Powerful Legacy of Thanksgiving Day Laughter

Life & Death Matters Post

Guest contributor: Rebecca V. Hoden, DNP, RN, CHPN

She knew it would be her last Thanksgiving. Her family gathered with her and conversations flourished. There were stories, laughter and tears shared – all while new memories were being made.

I visited the home on Thanksgiving day and was greeted by laughter. And I heard the story.

Carina, tiny, thin and frail, went to the bathroom, and did not realize that the toilet seat was not “down.” And so she sat…. down, down, down…. she went straight to the bottom of the toilet bowl! She started to laugh.

Back in the recliner she continued laughing, saying to me, “I could have sworn the toilet seat was down!”

Years later, long after she had died, her family recalled the story each Thanksgiving, delighting in her punchline, “I could have sworn the toilet seat was down!”

When we face the sobering reality of the dying process, laughter can be grounding. Even in the face of a person’s final holiday, even in the midst of grief, humour can offer richness and connection and can leave a powerful legacy.

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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