#699 A long hug when you really need it

A warm hug when you need itSometimes we all get rattled.

When bad news surprises you, painful memories flash back, or heavy moments turn your stomach to Jell-O, it’s great to fall into a warm and comforting pair of big, wide open arms.

Shaking with sobs, dripping with tears, you snort up your runny nose and smear snot across their shoulder as that hug relaxes you and comforts you and helps you get through everything, even for a minute, even for a moment.

Maybe there are ‘It’s going to be okay’ whispers, some gentle back-rubbing, or just the quiet silence of knowing that they’re not going to let go until you let go first. As their steady arms support you, and the pain washes over you, the hug gives you a warm glow in a shivery moment.

So when you eventually pull back, smile that classic ‘I’m sorry and thank you‘ smile, and swipe wet bangs off your forehead, you still might not feel great, but if you’re lucky you feel a little more


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Illustration from: here

77 thoughts on “#699 A long hug when you really need it

  1. Oh wow, this post came at a great time.
    There really is nothing quite like a huge hug to give us a bit of strength that is totally and completely


  2. By the way, I went back and read that post about your friend Chris, and it (once again) brought a lump to my throat.
    If I could, I would give you a real bear hug. But this cyber one will have to do…


    Keep being awesome, please. : )

  3. However don’t be mistaken! Sometimes you might think a hug will help, but if you move in for a kind and sweet hug to tell your wife sorry she had a bad day, you just might focus that anger in your direction…. in that case you could find yourself saying “god, make me a bird so I can fly far far away from here.” :)


  4. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I read it when I’m having a bad day, and need a smile, or having a good day and wanting to share it.

    I wanted to thank you for how well timed this post was, since I had a small break down last night regarding my father’s death. This made me realise how much my friends and remaining family have supported me. Thanks!

    1. Tracy,
      I’m very sorry for your loss, and I also want to salute you for your courage in posting your comment. I lost my dad recently, too, and I can also attest to the importance of that support of friends and family.

      People out there, I have a word for you, too:
      don’t be afraid to hug the grieving people. Yes, we might break down on your shoulder, but we kind of need it. And someday, we’ll return the favour. Because, as R.E.M. so beautifully put it, “Everybody hurts, sometimes.”

  5. This one made me choke up a little. Nothing feels better than a ginormous hug like this. Icing on top: when you pull away and the hugger wipes your tears off.

    Thank you to all of the great huggers in the world.

  6. Favourite movie version:
    When Robin Williams hugs Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” while repeating “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

      1. family guy stole it from there. im not sure if u kno this but family guy makes references and takes things from other things. example: how brian and stewie usually make charlie brown references and peter griffens roadhouse reference

  7. These kinds of hugs seem to happen mostly between my dad and I — we swap roles as hugger and huggee — and it inevitably ends with the huggee mumbling “sorry I snotted on you.” I wear my snot patch as a bit of a badge of honour, really.

  8. I came to AZ for medical tests at VA, found out I had cancer, and it’s gonna take a long time to treat it & beat it.
    I’m living by myself. Can’t drive.
    I haven’t seen my wife for 8 months. I’ve yet to see my newest grandson who was born after I left, won’t be able to go home for another 8months or so.
    Man I could use one of those hugs now!
    Or a very large drink.
    Not that I’m complaining….awesome.

    1. Greg, if there were a way of giving you a cyber hug that you could actually feel, I am sure we all would get together and give you one each day for the needed future.


  9. I need like 10 of those right now cuz my life sucks fat ass…one of the few cons of having a long distance relationship…

  10. People come to my office…not only to see the psychiatrist or the counselors…..but to get a hug from me. Therapeutic in its’ own right

  11. I always say that I judge people by their hugs. A hug hello, a hug good-bye and a hug when you just need a hug are my three criteria.

    My best friend/cousin gives the best hugs hello. Long enough that you know she missed you like crazy and just needs to hold on for a second, but not so long that it’s awkward. A guy I barely know who is a friend of the family gives the best good-bye hug I’ve ever had. And my other best friend is perfect for hugs when you need one. He’s about 9 inches taller than me, so it’s a very protected hug.

    I love hugs!

  12. A few weeks ago I found out my nephew had died while I was at work. I broke down during lunch and my friend (who generally hates physical contact as much as I do) was there, gave me the best hug, and just let me sob on her (snot and all) for a few minutes. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until she hugged me.

  13. I have some co-worker problems at work, and I’m not one to share ALL my feelings with people. I was in a dire need of one of these hugs you speak of. I sought out these friends, they may not have known the specific reason I required one of these hugs, but they were more than happy to obliege. And for that I thank you doesn’t seem to express the thanks that I mean.

  14. Thank you to those strangers who give us hugs when we are otherwise “alone” but really need one.

    I was trying to pick up a prescription at Walgreens and I was sobbing and had tears allover my face because I was stressed, exhausted, had a horrible job, and had just got off the phone with my boyfriend of 8 years, who was living in a different city, and had just been telling me he didn’t want to be in a relationship right now and I was confused about why he was trying to break up with me.

    I felt like the run on sentence that I just wrote. I could barely talk to the pharmacist to pay for my meds. And you were there, a young woman, brown hair, in your natural earthy clothes, and you just saw that I was crying and looked like I was going to fall apart. And you had the grace to ask me “Do you want a hug?” And I said yes. And that was a long hug, for people who didn’t even know eachother’s names. But it really helped.

    I won’t forget that moment. My boyfriend did break up with me. Then a few months later, we did reunite. Then he moved back to our home to live with me. Then I did get a better job. As much chaos as I had in that moment of our hug, that is as much happiness as I have now. And I will always remember that moment of compassion and one physical act of a hug among two people who share being human, and caring for eachother, for just a moment.

  15. This post took me back to high school. I remember one day I was having a bad day already, and I was only walking to my first period class. I woke up late, got a crappy parking spot, it was gloomy and grey out, and I was already late to class. My high school had a big special ed program, and it was awesome because, even in my school of over 5000 people, everyone loved them and were incredibly tolerant (slightly off-topic, but I always thought it was so amazing that we didn’t have a bully problem with these kids…something awesome in its own right). Anyway, I walked into the building where my class was, and one of the special ed kids was in there. I smiled at him, like I do to anyone I pass, and without a word, he ran up to me and engulfed me in the best hug I’ve ever had. Suddenly, I didn’t care that I was late, or that I would have to walk out to the boondocks to get my car later in the bad weather. All my tests and homework didn’t matter. I had a smile plastered on my face the rest of the day. When someone gives you a hug and you really need it, even if you don’t know you do, it is the best feeling in the world.

  16. has come home sobbing the last couples days of the week coz of all this assignments and homework and tests being loaded on me, and then my computer got this huge virus an i thought i was going to lose anything, so that definitely didnt help. Hell, ive got to do notes/draft/2nd draft/final copy of 8 pages for this stupid SOSE assignment due tuesday (only 2 more days to do it in!!!) and when i was sobbing to myself, do you know who came to comfort me and cry with me? My mum. i need one of those big hugs from a small woman now, but alas i am at my dads atm…. should prolly do that assignment now…

  17. I remember one day I was having a bad day already, and I was only walking to my first period class. I woke up late, got a crappy parking spot, it was gloomy and grey out, and I was already late to class. my teacher never punished me . Just give me a huge hug. I was crying then, but was moved.

  18. If someone is struggling, a hug can always help. People need warmth and love from other people, we can’t live without it. When you give someone a hug you show that you care about him/her. That can help a lot. If you give a hug to someone it doesn’t always mean that one person is sad, sometimes it just shows that you love that person and doesn’t want to lose him/her.

  19. Ah, I have a friend who gives out hugs randomly, and always first to pick you up when you fall, always gives some space when you need it, and always tells me the right thing to do when I was wrong. Even awesome ninja’s have their feelings messed, so THANKS BEST FRIEND!

  20. I love this whenever I feel downed or upset i love it so much it’s so comforting. It’s…it’s… AWESOME!!

  21. I’d love to hug someone, due to a long story I lost some of my best friends and my self confidence is gone, only hugs crack me up..

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