Welcome Siobhan! Laughter After Loss' New Project Manager
When I first saw the vacancy for Project Manager on Laughter After Loss advertised, I knew I had to apply. I hadn’t been actively seeking it out, but the ethos made total sense to me.
My children have learning disabilities and my mental health hasn’t always been great, so understanding how our brains work has always interested me. Although I often feel tired from being kept awake at bedtime by my worries, or having my sleep disrupted by my kids, I have noticed how the effect of slept deprivation when caused by staying up late, laughing with friends is completely different. I feel more energised and motivated the next day. I also know how some of the happiest times in my life have been when I have been involved in comedy, or when I have been able to socialise more with friends who make me laugh.
Our brains are wonderful complex organs, but they are also little creatures of habit that lean into repetition and familiarity. We know if we want to learn a new language, or how to play an instrument, or complex algebra, it will come more naturally to us if we practice. The same can also be true of unhelpful thought patterns, and low mood. Sadness, grief, anger and loneliness are normal feelings to experience after bereavement but Laughter After Loss exists to provide a break from them, before they become habits.
Increasingly, research in psychotherapy and psychology shows that reliving traumatic experiences through talking therapies can have a negative impact for recovery. Professor of Psychology, George Bonanno, of Columbia University, has written extensively on the subject. His research showed that those who talk more about their grief and sadness will take longer to recover than those who remember their loved ones with laughter and smiles, or who were distracted altogether.
Through our workshops, drop-in sessions, courses, and outings, Laughter After Loss will aim to provide respite from the biggest, heaviest feelings of bereavement. By sharing these experiences with others who are on the same path, our participants need never feel awkward mentioning their loss, or even feeling unable to speak very much at all, but we will always try to bring you back to a place of levity.
The Comedy Trust is based in Liverpool, where Laughter After Loss could not be more appropriately located. The historically great city has been through its share of losses, through the downturn in the importance of its docks, the worklessness of the 1980s, when a period of “managed decline” was proposed by the government, and the most devastating football disaster in Europe. Collectively, Merseyside names its losses, it grieves them and then it fights back. It could teach Doctor Who? A thing about regeneration and after thirty years, achieved legal justice for the 97 who died at
Hillsborough. It’s done this while all the while being a region of great wit and humour. Our boroughs produce hilarious comedians. Our Royal Court Theatre has found new life and growth through appealing to big audiences with comedies that resonate with our identity. Liverpool and Southport both have comedy festivals. Our streets, our pubs, even our train stations, are full every weekend with people who make each other howl with mirth. Don’t try and cope with your loss alone. Come join us for the laughter.
Laughter After Loss is currently operating a drop-in group on Wednesdays from 18:00-20:00. For the next few weeks, this will be at the Everyman Bistro, 5-11 Hope Street, L1 9BH
If you think your organisation could benefit from a dedicated workshop or course, please email Siobhan@thecomedytrust.com
Join our Facebook group to engage with others on social media Research References: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/articles/2000/september/laughing-in-the-face-of-death-coping-with-grief-effectively https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/mar/11/mentalhealth.healthandwellbeing