30 November 2012

[30] hugs

Funeral visitation is exhausting. I can't tell you how many people I hugged tonight who I haven't seen in years. Or ever. Yet I hugged them. It happens.

My Aunt Lisa hugged me but said that she had arrived with no intentions of hugging everyone, which I thought was smart. I came unarmed with such intentions, and I ended up hugging people sometimes just because I didn't know what to say to them. (This happens sometimes when it's been a decade since you saw a person but you once did churchy things together. Or they are vaguely related to you. Or they just look sad.)

My little niece and nephew were there, running around shrieking like small banshees, and I love that. When my Oma died two and a half years ago, a friend of mine commented that sniffing a baby's head is one of the best ways to deal with grief, because it makes you feel so alive. I agree. B. and R. are no longer babies, but sweeping their sturdy little bodies up into the air or holding their small hands is the best salve one can get. Their tiny hugs I would never turn away. They feel like life.

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