Never Underestimate the Power of a Hug
I’ve been popping around to see an elderly neighbour on a fairly regular basis for some years now. She’s a crotchety old thing. Looks older than she is and is very very lonely. And often very very sad. Initially I popped in and helped with a bit of gardening. Soon it became clear it was more about the company; half an hour of chat. More recently it’s also been about helping her sort out the complexities of modern-day life such as getting the best deals on insurance, phones, gas and electric. Gone are the days when good customers were rewarded with the newest and best deals; these days only the new customers get them and if you don’t shop around you’ll get screwed over. She was being screwed over by everyone.
One day I was there, she was particularly low and I gave her a hug. It was a poignant moment, she seemed to soften a little and relax a little. She couldn’t remember the last time it had happened. Now I hug her goodbye and give her a peck on the cheek every time I visit.
Never underestimate the power of human contact. A smile; a touch; a few kind words…
I wrote the above some years ago. This lovely old lady has since died. I was there with her when she did, and then I arranged her funeral and helped sort out her estate. Since then I’ve trained as an End-of-Life Doula.
That is one of the ripples she made in the sea of her life.
Here’s another old blog from 2016 that talks about hugs!