Hugs. There is nothing like getting a hug from a friend, and I’ve found that giving them too feels wonderful. I am a hugger by culture, and by nature. The Mexican custom is to walk in and greet people present with a hug and cheek kiss. When I met my new someone’s 89 year old dad, I instinctively walked up, shook his hand and gave him a hug; he jumped back and looked very surprised. I told him then he could expect more of those from me; we had a chuckle together and he said that would be just fine. Mr. Someone new in my life told me they didn’t come from a family that hugged much. Things have changed a bit now.
Virginia Satir, a family therapist has said that we need four hugs a day for survival. Research shows that hugging is effective at helping and healing loneliness, anxiety and stress.
Last Saturday afternoon we paid a visit to my new guy’s dad who had had a series of falls recently, but had recovered nicely each time. As we left he came up to me before I could walk to him, and gave me a big hug. That was our last hug as it turned out; he passed away two days later. I have had so many lessons of late on the importance of hugging and telling people you love them.
The photo above is a postcard my best friend sent me years ago. I keep it prominently displayed in a frame as a reminder of how good hugs are to get and to give.
This post is dedicated to Mr. W. I will miss his hugs.