Raymond Moody has observed, "One of the most adaptive ways a human being has of dealing with severe illness and also with the finality of death is through humor." Allen Klein, an award-winning professional speaker and workshop leader for patients and their caretakers, calls himself a "jollytologist." He notes that just because a situation is serious, it doesn't have to be solemn. With great energy and boldness, he shows how humor can be a healing and uplifting spiritual resource for hospital and hospice patients. Klein also discusses last laughs and the link between mirth and mourning.
Humor, according to the author, decreases stress and tension in terminally ill patients. It provides empowerment to those who feel helpless. Or as Erma Bombeck once put it: "Laughter arises out of tragedy when you need it most and rewards you for your courage." Others quoted in this life-affirming work include Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, Betty Rollins, Gilda Radner, Bernie Siegel, and Arnold Beisser.