When You Just Need A Hug

As many of you (oh, so sweet and wonderful) readers of mine know, Wednesday marked four months since losing Joanna. You also probably know that I have been in California for a work trip.

The down side of this is that I was not home with Bill on this four-month mark. No hugs from Joanna’s daddy to squeeze my heart with comfort and tell me it’s OK to cry and it’s OK to be sad and it’s OK to miss her. I also miss my puppy, who of course knows when I am feeling down.

On the plus side, I love the marketing team as it stands today, especially the fact that I call the girls on the team friends. We’ve had a fantastic time this week, margaritas and Mexican food in Laguna Woods, putting our (OK, just mine) toes in the sand and the Pacific Ocean, handmade Italian dishes in Carlsbad during our team dinner, and the most gorgeous California sunset I’ve seen to date while walking Manhattan Beach. Not to mention spending an evening with a great new friend having a pizza dinner in my hotel room watching Chopped.

It’s been a great week. But smack-dab in the middle was that day, April 29. Some people let the day come and go without thinking of Joanna, while others sent a little message or posted on my Facebook wall. It really can help a heart heal to know how much others love and care for you, and how much they loved your child, even if she arrived silently and they didn’t get to hold her or see her pretty, little face.

But there is one problem. As a human being, sometimes you just need a hug. No text, email, call – can replace a hug. Away from home all week, I was struggling through the day Wednesday. I was happy on the outside. But on the inside, I was hurting and missing my baby. It’s true! I just needed a hug – a physical acknowledgement of my pain, and a reminder that I’m surviving.

Instead, I went back to my hotel room and tried to sleep.

But today, this great thing happened. My wonderful, sweet friend took some time to get away for a few minutes, just the two of us. She bought me a coffee and we caught up with each other between meetings. As always, she listened to what I had to say, and I knew she really cared. Just like I knew she cared four months ago when Joanna died. Just like I knew she cared when I felt like I couldn’t be at work on my first few days back and she called to check in on me. And you know what? She hugged me today. Whether or not she knew how much I needed it, it happened. And I am so grateful.

So today, I am finding God’s grace in co-workers, co-workers I can call friends. Who care about what is going on in my life, who take the time to make sure I’m doing OK, who laugh with me, who make work enjoyable and fun (even on the stressful days). Gracious friends who take good care of me, with kind words and comforting hugs.

I am going to miss being in the same city as you (“amazing, wonderful, perfect”) ladies.

See you tomorrow, East Coast!

Manhattan Beach


4 thoughts on “When You Just Need A Hug

  1. everydayspirit1 says:

    Dearest Carol,

    Thank you for your beautiful writing about your 4 month anniversary of grace-filled Joanna. I remember mine, even though it was so many years ago. I felt like I was just beginning to breathe and then the grief would envelope me like a wave from a mighty ocean. We hurt deeply because we love deeply. There’s a lot of grace in there. Hugs (spirit hugs) to you and Bill and family.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Carol,
    Today marks 5 months since we lost our Lentil. I have been having a really hard time for the past couple of days. Today at work a friend asked me if I needed a hug. I said yes and she walked to my office and hugged me. It made me think about your last post. I have been reading your blog since our last meeting and your writing is absolutely wonderful.

    Take care,

    • stillgracious says:

      Polina! It’s so good to have people who are supportive and not afraid to ask us what we need. I am so glad you’re reading my blog. Five months is a big milestone…my heart hurts for you two. Bill and I think of you often. Hope to see you soon.

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