Saturday, May 18, 2019

GOOD GRIEF, "Accept Hugs..."

Good Grief: Strategies for Building Resilience and Supporting Transformation

Accept Hugs from  Family, Friends, and Strangers

He tells me I look as if I could use a hug and I laugh at him and he ignores me and steps forward and puts his arms around me and
hugs me. I warm at the simple pleasure of human contact and for the first time in a long time I actually feel good.
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces
What is touch? I am talking about the kind of touch that is an exchange between you and someone else. When you are young, you touch and are touched frequently through the routine contact of parenting, playing, sports, friendships, etc. You get pats on the back, hugs, handshakes, you wrestle with siblings and more.

Surely you can think of times you have enjoyed the touch of others or wanted to reach out and touch someone to offer comfort. Touch is so important. Scientists have found that if an infant is deprived of touch, this can lead to developmental delays as well as growth and cognitive impairment.

Research indicates that as we age, touch occurs less frequently and that adults and elders deprived of touch feel disconnected, isolated, lonely, and often depressed. This may be due to living alone, aCCEpt hugS froM faMily, friEndS, and StrangErS hospitalization, illness, isolation or other causes.

Touching practices also vary according to cultural mores — some groups being very much touch-oriented and others more distant. Take this into consideration when you are offering hugs to others so as not to offend. You can always ask for permission to hug.

Hugs are touches that signify caring and can involve partial or full body contact. It usually depends on the relationship. A hug feels good to the person being hugged. I remember how good it felt to be hugged (embraced in a caring manner) by someone who was trying to comfort me during my time of grief and loss. I felt less alone, and my spirit lightened as the grief was shared through this contact. I felt a sigh move up through my body followed by a muscle relaxation.

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.
Heart Centered Rebalancing
Yes, I still remember how a hug from my husband felt. I miss this dearly, but still get lots of hugs from others. I have a few hug stories that I will share with you.

I was in an orthopedic office to get a shot in my right shoulder and bicep tendon due to joint pain. When I went to check out with the receptionist, I started crying. Crying is a spontaneous thing and can be triggered without notice.

She asked me, “Are you OK? Do you need a hug?”

I was unprepared to respond, but she seemed to know what was needed. So, she did not wait for a response, but just came right around the barrier between us and gave me a big hug. She told me that her husband died at 42, and she knew what I was going through. I took a seat in the waiting room to regain my composure. Then the male physician assistant came into the waiting room and told me I could stay in the waiting room as long as I needed and he would wait to leave — no hurry. They were done for the day, but my needs were important to them. These were both total strangers.

I started to wonder if anyone ever got addicted to hugs and caring. I added “hugs” to my self-care plan.

A little more than a year after my husband’s death, I was on a spiritual retreat in Sedona, AZ, a place my husband and I had been to years before, when we traveled across the country over the span of a month. I was very sensitive to our previous togetherness adventure and at the retreat became tense, agitated, easily upset. At one event, I felt so overcome that my face scrunched up and I burst into tears. I was embarrassed, turning quickly away from the group, thankful that they were already leaving our gathering to go outside.

One person, Mariane, saw what was happening to me. Before I knew it, she was across the room, and she wrapped me in a hug from my head to my toes. For an instant, I felt uncomfortable with this hug from a stranger, but then I found myself feeling her healing energy surround and penetrate every part of my being.

The sensation was so relaxing and peaceful. She murmured comforting words and stroked my head and my back as I told her why I was crying and how hard it still was for me without Fred. The hug lasted only a few minutes, but it felt much longer. I found out that Mariane was a healer; she had also lost her husband too, so she knew what grieving meant. We were strangers sharing a common bond of loss. Both related well to the need for comfort.

Sometimes all you can do is hug a friend tightly and wish that their pain could be transferred by touch to your own emotional hard drive.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Some believe hugs are a means of transferring energy to another person who is dear to you. When this occurs, it will replenish depleted energy at any time, particularly when a person is in need. Hugging provides the feeling of caring and compassion; it is more personal than words. It calms the mind, body, and spirit, making you feel that you are connected and not alone. My daughter and I hugged each other often.
I received hugs from friends. I also received hugs from some strangers in public places. (Hugs from strangers may be perceived as threatening and stressful for some, so this may or may not be for you.)

Hugging is considered beneficial and may significantly improve your wellbeing. Some say that you need at least four hugs a day as the (RDA) Recommended Daily Amount for your health and well-being. Don’t forget to hug someone to show your caring. Do not forget to ask for a hug when you need one. Give a HUG today to someone you love…or someone who needs a hug!
        I am surrounded by relationships that feel good.
        I am worthy of love and acceptance.
        I trust the universe to provide for my needs for comfort and caring.


With her permission, I am serializing here nurse Cheryl Barrett's valuable book on transcending grief. I had the pleasure of being her coach and editor through my Write Your Book with Me enterprise. 

Douglas Winslow Cooper, PhD

Perhaps the easiest way to obtain a copy of her book, published by Outskirts Press, is through this Amazon link: 

No comments:

Post a Comment