This weekend I went out with some girlfriends. Our original plans were foiled when the cover band we wanted to see had to cancel their show due to illness. So, we pivoted and ended up at a country bar that recently reopened.
I don’t know when the original one closed, but I can tell you in high school they had teen nights that my friends and I attended regularly. We knew most of the line dances and could 2-step up a storm if the right boy asked us.
Tony and I never dated in high school, but we ran with the same group of friends, so it’s something we did long before either of us were interested in each other. Together but separate.
I haven’t line danced since the late 90’s and somehow, I still remembered a few of the dances. It’s weird what our minds and bodies hold onto, apparently the line dance called Slappin’ Leather is one of them.
While I was sitting out, we noticed an old acquaintance on the dance floor. She is a widow, and she lost her person to suicide like I did. We haven’t seen each other in years but we now share a knowledge we wish on no one.
We hollered her name, and it was like a scene out of a movie. She saw me, our eyes locked and then we raced to each other. We exchanged the most aggressive hug I’ve ever had. It was a hug that didn’t need words. That hug symbolized everything we knew the other person had gone through and even the things we don’t know. We are both fairly candid on our social media pages on what it’s like to be a suicide widow but there are always details we don’t share publicly. Things you can’t put into words or are just too much for public consumption. That hug contained it all.
I am sure we were getting some strange looks because this powerful hug wasn’t quick. There was so much to say with just an embrace.
I think I need to start hugging all my widow friends this way. We’ve all lost our person and we don’t get hugs as frequently as we used to. We need to make them count when we have the chance.
So, I challenge you this holiday season to find a widow(er) and give them a massive, squeezy, make heads turn hug. It’ll be good for both your souls.