Friday, September 10, 2010

Hold Me

The day has ended with me needing a huge, comforting hug. Wanting someone to hold me and murmur soothing words of encouragement, telling me it is all going to be okay. A warm, nurturing body to embrace me and a kind hand to stroke my back and hair, to let me cry a bit of it out on their shoulder.

Where does someone like me get that physical support? I am convinced that as human beings, we all need that element of connection - emotional as well as physical. Maybe even the physical more than the emotional at times. I do my best to be there for the boys. When the day seems especially rough, I make a point of touching them or giving them a hug as well as providing verbal assurances. But I tell you, this widowed mom and only parent sure needs to have someone to lean on too. We all do.

What happens when we lack this basic requirement? I guess we end up surviving but life is all round more tolerable when it includes the element of human touch and compassion. I am beginning to believe that any problem or condition is tolerable as long as one can face it with some support from others. Lacking that, for me at least, has become my personal hell. Having to face all these issues and problems on my own is I fear, slowly killing me. A person can only keep it together so long, can only keep the home fires afloat before they too need to be carried part of the distance. A load can be borne on one's own shoulders for only so long.

I'm thinking of all the people out there besides myself who are without an emotional and physical connection in their lives. There are the elderly that live alone, and other widows and widowers. Children and wives in abusive households. People existing in love-strained marriages. I wish there were a hug fairy that made rounds to the hug-starved.

Tonight was the fourth Friday in a row that I attended a football game sitting alone in the stands surrounded by hundreds of people. Tonight as I contemplated my need for some physical contact, I was awe struck by how strange it was to be in the midst of so many people and to feel so utterly alone, invisible and lost. I saw various acquaintances in the stands, both men and women. What would have happened it I'd asked one of them to give me a hug after the game? Would that be considered too weird or does a person simply do what they have to do to stay sane? Or I suppose I could have just greeted someone I knew with a hug of my own and see if they'd respond with one back (not the males though, as all their wives were present and might get the wrong idea about my intentions).

We need physical contact and emotional understanding. How blessed it is when we can receive both from loved ones in our lives.


  1. I finally gave in to that need and got a massage. It worked wonders. No, it wasn't from someone I loved, but I was being touched by a human being and it helped immensely. I almost cried during it.
    I wish we lived closer so that we could attend each other's football games. I totally get it.
    Hang in there.

  2. Janine - Just hearing someone say, "I totally get it" about the football games brought tears to my eyes. Thank you - it helps. I think I would cry with a massage - sometimes I almost start crying when a clerk says a kind word to me in a store.

  3. oh yes, I very much identify with this. Recently I keep walking down my staircase pining for the days when a simple thing such as saying, "where's my beautiful husband?" and him saying, "here I am" and meeting me at the bottom step, wrapping me up. I loved hugging him. Touch.

  4. Boo - Tears to my eyes reading your dear comments too. I recall the days of simply driving in the car when I could rest my hand on his knee or being able to simply hold one another at the end of the day. I feel "touch-starved."

  5. I wrote this on one of my blog posts:

    Sunday, November 29, 2009
    I Need a Hug
    "When I was stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I would go to my husband and say, "I need a hug." His hugs made me feel secure and helped to release the tension that was going on inside of me.

    There is much tension going on right now in my life, so God .... "I need a hug!!!!!"

    Yes, there is much loss that is not realized until it happens and one so important is the human touch/hugs. I miss them greatly!!!!

    I almost had to chuckle when you were wondering about asking someone for a hug. I could imagine the "look" that would be given. And yes the wives would definitely have a problem with the hugging of their husbands. After all, we are widows and want to "steal" husbands away (sarcism!). Oh how I wish they could understand -- Oh how I am glad they don't, it would mean a loss for them and I would not wish that on anyone.

    Virtual hugs is all I can give, but know that we all understand!!

    Much love

  6. Beth - I'm glad someone out there can picture me asking another parent for a hug and realizing that it just isn't very feasible. The words from your post are achingly sad but true. I don't think any of us realized how much power there is in touch until it is no longer a given in our lives. What strikes me the most about your words is that touch is what so many of us rely on for stability and strength. And yet when we need it the most, the gift of touch isn't available for us. That's a tough pill for me to swallow and have to try and accept.

  7. I read somewhere that people need 8 non-intimate touches a day. I confess that my children probably get a lot more than they would have if my husband was still alive!

    Someone recently gave me a spontaneous hug and I think I surprised them by letting out a great big sigh, sheesh it was good. I even greet my girlfriends with hugs, they've come to expect it!

    Beth, I laughed at your 'stealing' reference, it is so true, and often I think to myself, really, your husband ... you are welcome to him, tee hee.


  8. Julie - I love the idea of greeting friends with hugs and I am going to adopt the practice for my life! And I'm going to TRY and give more hugs to my sons as well. We'll see how that goes, boys being boys...

  9. Right now, it's not that I want a hug... I want a hug FROM MY HUSBAND. No one else would do. He just died less than 2 months ago. My skin is so hungry for his touch.