Physical Contact

Before my Dad died, I wasn’t much of a hugger or outwardly affectionate. This went back to my teens, but that didn’t mean I didn’t care, or love someone, I just found it difficult to show it.
After 1996 though, whenever I saw my Mum, I always hugged her and told her I loved her.
My in-laws were never huggy people, and I hugged FIL once, but he was as responsive as an ironing board, I think because he didn’t expect it, neither was he used to it. I cannot remember ever hugging MIL.
I’ve never lived on my own so have always had someone with whom to have conversation, confide in, or hug me when I needed comfort. I wrote a post years ago about loneliness which covered living alone, and you can read it here.

I woke up this morning thinking about physical contact, or in many cases now, the lack of it. Christmas especially is a time for families to get together, sometimes the ONLY time in the year they can. For millions, recent events have brought their plans crashing down round their heads. Uncertainty, annoyance, anger, frustration and taking the risk all play a part, and Christmas is not going to be the festive season it should be.

We are aware of several people who have lost their spouses this year. Most have family that live locally, but some do not and a journey of three or four hours each way is impractical for one day. Thus, those living alone feel even more isolated, and although technology gives us skype, zoom, and other means of face to face communication, it is not the same as leaning on someone’s shoulder, holding a hand, having a hug, or kissing a weathered cheek.
Social distancing, no mixing of households and no hugging granny is being recommended.
So even if some families can unite for the holidays, there are restrictions.

I guess then in some ways, Hubby and I are lucky not to have family to visit, and there is certainly none that would visit us.
We are a bubble of three, ourselves and our neighbour, and although in contact daily, we are not in each other’s houses all the time.
It is a difficult time for everyone, and I am just grateful that I have Hubby to share my life, someone who can hold my hand, and hug me, or I him, when the touch of another human being is so important.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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14 Responses to Physical Contact

  1. trishsplace says:

    I totally get this. I’m not a hugger either.
    But hugging my children and my husband is so very important. Our kids are on the other side of Australia and we see them once or twice a year. I haven’t seen them now since early December 2019.
    Our daughter was booked to visit this week for a few days – but now that we’ve had a ‘small’ resurgence of Covid, our states have been blocked from each other.
    I miss the kids, but at least I have my beautiful husband and we can hug as much as we like.
    And at least our country is doing its best to keep us all safe – and we can’t complain about that. Fingers crossed it will all come good and there’ll be plenty of hugs and touches to come.
    Thanks for sharing this x

  2. Paula Light says:

    This is something I never think about or am bothered by. Today though, I was really craving hot, fresh sweet potato fries served in a restaurant…

  3. Carol anne says:

    I agree. Hugs are vital. Very very important. I love hugs and I’ve always been a huggy person. xo

  4. Sadje says:

    You’re absolutely right, we may not crave company all the time but human touch is so important.

  5. Maggie says:

    This is so poignant and timely, Di. You articulated this feeling beautifully. I come from a long line of huggers and I miss them all so much.

  6. Ruth says:

    I’ve always been a natural hugger, and all my extended family are really huggy people too, and we’re finding it so hard not to be allowed to hug each other on the rare occasions when we do manage to meet up with each other outdoors… Still, hopefully this pandemic can’t last forever, and by keeping each other safe now we can enjoy all the hugs in the world afterwards ❤

  7. DM says:

    I get it. I did not grow up in a hugging family either….my wife did more so. to this day, I err on the side of not hugging , unless the other person gives me the indication they would like a hug. Hugs and physical affection are so important to our mental health. Thank you for the post Di! DM

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