My last post was entitled “Shining lights” and I realized later that I meant to call it “A million hugs.” The title yesterday was supposed to describe how I have seen my 12-year-old nephew over the last week. Every step of the way, he has tried to be comforted by his positive take on life. Thankfully, he does allow the people around him to comfort him as well.
And, though not a million, I would guess that over 100 people showed up to comfort him. Teachers, administrators, and support staff from both his elementary and current middle school came to the visitation Tuesday night to see and comfort him. His Boy Scout leader and some of his troupe members were there. Many, many neighborhood members came. Not to mention the congregation from his church. I felt deep gratitude. After meeting the Pastor of their church at the hospital and seeing how much of a support group my nephew has, I wrote the following email to her and the congregation:
“When I lost my sister this past weekend, I was given the gift of being comforted by the knowledge and realization that her family have had your love, support, and compassion for a very long time. I know that they will be held up by the congregation of their Church and their Pastor. I couldn’t pick a better Pastor to guide us all through my sister’s funeral and burial. I couldn’t ask for a better and more supportive family for them as they grieve. And, I thank all of you more than I will ever be able to express with words. I am eternally grateful that my sister is with (her) God. I am eternally grateful that my brother-in-law and nephew will continue to be with all of you.”
I have realized and come to believe that I experience a Source I choose to call God in my times of meditation, and also very strongly through my interactions with people. For a long time, I cut this channel of strength off because I was hurt or disappointed; felt neglected and unloved. In my effort to protect myself, I also cut off the people who showed up to love, accept, and comfort me. Under my imaginary and righteous shield, I became judgmental, withdrawn, lonely, and miserable.
Through healing and listening to the wisdom of my loving friends, I have become stronger and more confident in the love I receive from them and am, myself, more able to give love. And, I accept that I am not that good at it yet, that I have a long way to go.
I felt a quiet core-strength last Saturday when I walked into the hospital knowing that my sister’s condition was critical. I noticed this strength, knew where it originated from, and, though not surprised by it, was astonished and grateful that it belonged to me. Not by any work or gift of my own.
My nephew is an amazing, spiritual channel and he is only 12-years-old. I am so glad he can receive a million hugs from the people around him now. I understand what he means by this, and how he feels.
I am held by a million hugs today. I can hope. I can grieve. I can try to help and love someone else. In my sorrow, I can heal.