Ok, I want to take a little bit of time and talk about HUGS. I suspect most of us have grown up with people hugging us. I know I did. When I was little I remember my Papa giving me hugs and then when I walked away to go play, he would take the side of his foot and gently swat me in the butt. That got a rise out of me, but that was his point. He loved to make me mad. But he would alway hug me when I came over and when I left. I remember Nana giving me hugs even when I was older and coming over to her apartment with Robb before we were married. Yeah, so hugs are a good thing, but maybe sometimes they aren’t.
Before Robb died the only people who hugged me on a regular basis was Madelyn my beautiful granddaughter, and a few select people from church. The hugging never went to full out everyone on the bloody planet giving me a hug until Robb died.
Now a few years ago I was in a growth group and I made the shocking statement that I didn’t appreciate people hugging me. What I actually meant was I didn’t like people who never gave me a hug before, hugging me now. Here’s the reason why.
Hugging doesn’t make me feel any better! It really doesn’t. But I realize it makes the other people feel better. I know and realize that’s important, but at this point in my life I don’t want to be that person to make someone else feel better about Robb’s death. Last Friday was the Angelversary of Robb’s death. It’s been seven years now. Yes it still hurts and I still miss him. On Thursday night a woman who I literally have no social connection with at all gave me a hug. Once it was done, I didn’t feel better. I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy and I didn’t feel loved. You see that hug, while it was meant to comfort, did nothing to comfort me in any way. More than likely it made the other person feel better. I realize that they need to feel better, but seriously I just didn’t appreciate the gesture. You may think I’m ungrateful for friends, but you must realize that this person isn’t in my very small circle of friends. This person is on the outside and has never attempted to become part of that very small circle. I’m not complaining about my circle being small, it’s how I like it. I prefer to have a few close friends rather than a ton of friends who really don’t know you at all.
Am I being unfair to this other person? I don’t think so. I’m being honest and real about how I feel about the whole situation. Am I being uncaring about others? I’m not so sure on that one. In certain aspects maybe I am, but in other aspects I care about others a lot. Am I putting myself first? YES I am, but I also think in this situation and circumstances I’m justified in doing so.
So what do we learn from this? I think what I’ve learned is people really don’t know how to communicate with someone’s huge loss. They don’t know how to say, “I know this is a difficult week for you, but I want you to know that I’m thinking/praying for you.” Believe me, if someone said that to me instead of hugging, it would be greatly appreciated.