We were introduced through common friends and got along extremely well. He worked day and night but somehow always made time for his near and dear ones. I wasn’t sure if I was one of them but whenever he was around, I was at ease. If something worried me, I could confide in him. I could share what was on my mind. I could be myself with him.
As we got closer, I found myself wanting to invite him all the time; be it a simple get-together at my home or a rocking party at a club. I wanted him to join us, friends, on a holiday. I wanted him to join us on an international trip. I even asked him to join me for ballroom dance lessons. I was so at ease with him.
And the most amazing quality he had was the way he handled children; with pure love and care as if they were his own. He played with them like he was their age despite being one of us. He would spend time with my 2-year-old and even feed her without any fuss and neither would be bored of the other. He was also a magnet when it came to making friends. People were attracted to him. He had charm. He had charisma. He was the epitome of unconditional love.
And then we were woken up one morning with the shocking news of his passing.
I felt a shooting pain in my chest. I felt a void deep down inside me. I broke. I was shattered. I felt anxious; wishing this was simply a misunderstanding. Slowly, I realized that I was connected to him in a way that I had never imagined. I realized how much I missed him and needed him to come back.
I attended the Church services kept in his honour and met his friends and family, some for the first time. No one seemed interested in life anymore. Everyone was in tears. He was the light of his family. He was the ‘sound of music’ for us friends. Everybody missed him and wondered why it was him that God had taken away. I didn’t know how to get rid of this pain I felt inside and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how his family felt.
A few days later, after several painful thoughts of him, I had a dream. It was a typical partying scene, with friends and family all over the place and balloons for the children. I spotted him and smiled. He approached me to engage in a conversation of some sort. I couldn’t recall the topic of discussion but I was happy he was there. I was overjoyed that he was alive and in front of me. And then we hugged. It was a long overdue hug for which I was thankful. It was a hug that made me feel better. And then it dawned on me that it was a hug to say his final goodbye.
Amazingly, after many sad mornings, I had woken up with a smile. I felt good. The heaviness inside me was no more. I felt like a chapter of my life had closed with that simple hug and I was ready to move on. After several days, I felt alive.
And then I discovered the importance of a simple hug. I realized what was missing in our relationship; a HUG. The hug that should have been given every time we met. The hug that should have been exchanged every time we parted. The hug you give someone, just in case you never see them again. The hug that is almost always the answer to everything. The hug that finally took my pain away.
Do you hug your near and dear ones every time you meet or say goodbye?