Broken Hearts Can Make A Beautiful Sound

Today I sat down with someone to restructure Humor for Hope’s business plan. During the course of our conversation I was asked, what my time is worth and how much I think I should be charging for my services, my art, my vision, and my time. 

The question left me momentarily bereft of breath. I know I have to answer that question eventually if I want Humor for Hope to be my life’s work but it breaks my heart a little bit too. 

I don’t do what I do so I can someday get paid or make a bunch of money or buy a bunch of things. I do what I do because I care. I care so much that it hurts. My heart breaks every.single.time I walk into a hospital room and see a child that’s been labeled with “failure to thrive”, or come across a child that is sick and non responsive because they can’t take a full breath due to fluid build up in their lungs thanks to Cystic Fibrosis, or when I visit a child that is depressed because all he ever wanted to do was to become a professional soccer player and he just had his right leg amputated due to a late detection of Osteosarcoma. It actually breaks my heart. Every time I walk past a room and see that the name plate on one of the doors has been filled with a new name a little piece of me is chipped away.

That said, I can’t even begin to put into words how full it makes my heart to see these kids come to life through laughter. Even if it is for just a fleeting moment, it’s radiant and dazzling and I was there. I got to witness it like a shooting star flashing across their eyes, and because of that I am reassured that their spirit is still in there somewhere, lying dormant, waiting to be roused.

My job is to remind these kids that they are still here with us, that they still have their spirit, and that they are allowed to laugh through the pain. It’s a release, it’s cathartic, and it’s okay. They are not their diagnosis, they are not half of a human being because all of their parts don’t work, they are not their bodies. They are their imagination, the are their hearts, they are their spirits, they are whatever they want to be in that moment and I get to be there right next to them yes and-ing and cheering them on the entire time. 

I don’t know what it’s like to lose a child, but I do know what profound loss feels like. And looking back, the thing that brings me the most comfort and warmth is remembering the good times, the fun memories, and the laughs. 

This is why I believe in Humor for Hope with all that I am. This is why I allow my heart to continue to be broken open, because every laugh and every moment of radiance fills me right back up. 

This is why I do what I do. 

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“We can’t heal others, but we can be committed to their healing. We can’t make others whole, but we can be committed to their wholeness.”

Hope England