The next question - How did we know if we had forgiven?
In our bodies, it shows up in our breathing. If we are panicking, full of fear and unforgiveness - ready to fight, freeze or panic - we found ourselves short of breath - shallow breathing. To forgive is to breathe deeply and enjoy the breath of life.
In our hearts if we s unforgiving, we found ourselves withdrawing, isolated and lonely. We were shut down emotionally. To forgive is to love generously.
In our minds, if we are unforgiving our minds cycle, tunnel and resist anything new. To forgive allows us to be objective and objectivity allows laughter.
Laughter can come at the oddest time. The day of Candace's funeral, they played her song "Friends are Friends Forever" and we just dissolved into tears. After the funeral, we went back to our house with some friends and cried some more. But then at the end of the evening one of our friends started to describe how they wanted to go to bed to sleep but they had purchased a water bed - so popular at that time. She described sleeping - tossing and turning on a sea of water creating her own storm on the high seas. We began to laugh and laugh. It was fun to laugh.
I glanced over and saw someone scowling in the corner and I knew he disapproved. Later on we found out that he told everyone that we didn’t care.
At the trials, which really challenged us mentally, I mostly remember the laughter. We weren't crying during our lunch breaks - we were laughing and giggling. Life - at its most intense moments needs to be handled with the joy of a good laugh.
I think this became very clear to Cliff and I as we were getting older. Even when he was dying of cancer, we would laugh together. "We've had quite a ride," we said as we remembered our desperate lows and our crazy highs. "What a roller coaster ride!" And then we'd giggle. Cliff loved to chuckle at it all.
Whether we were laughing or crying didn't really matter as long as we were engaging with it - embracing it and "letting it go."
I“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― George Bernard Shaw