I have been thinking a lot about what I miss the most. When life was normal. I have been asking friends and family as well.
Most of the answers I have received were along the lines of being able to go to a restaurant. Being able to grab a drink with a friend. Traveling freely. Seeing family. And initially, those things, especially the family part, were what I was thinking as well.
But I realized, no, that's not what I miss the most. What I miss the most is something so simple, yet so powerful:
I miss hugging people.
I scored high on multiple love languages according to www.5lovelanguages.com. But my top two are Physical Touch and Quality Time, which is 100% accurate. Time spent with loved ones is something I greatly cherish, and whether through a hug or a kiss, that is how I show my affection towards others, regardless if a man or a woman.
My dad kissed me EVERY time he saw me. So I understand the power of that affection.
But a long, warm hug, the kind where two hearts truly meld into one, the kind that can keep one's soul from shattering apart, is just pure magic. So absolutely powerful, unequivocal, in its ability to heal.
And fuck, people need hugs more than ever.
My mom called me this morning and woke me up. And initially, I was a bit grumpy as a result. She said she was sorry, but I told her not to hang up since I was awake already and I asked what was up. She then told me a long time family friend had passed away this morning. She told me it was not from the virus, but the reason ultimately did not matter anyway. Another soul made its way to God.
But the reason for her call was not to tell me about the passing. Through tears, she asked me the following:
"Beta, is it okay if I go over to Aunty's house? I will stand away from the door, but just so I can talk to her? That's why I was calling you."
My heart dropped. But I stood firm in my response: "Mummy, no, I don't want you to. Please just give her a call and talk to her."
And she said okay, and hung up the phone.
My mom is... ugh, just amazing. There is not a kinder, more beautiful soul on this planet. Her hugs, her touch, are truly magical.
But I know my mom. If she went over and saw Aunty cry, she would not be able to resist hugging her to console her. It is just who she is. And in normal times, I would tell her to go and share her love, her magic, with the world.
In this time, however, her beautiful soul could get her sick. And if she got sick, my soul would shatter. So no, she does not get to share her love, her magic, with the world. She just can't.
And that makes me sick.
A friend of mine has a chronically ill father and helps her mother take care of him when she is able. She works in a hospital and has been afraid of getting her parents sick. But since her mom is unable to provide everything her dad needs, she anxiously takes the train out to Long Island help out. And she takes all the precautions she is able to, even when at home.
But she texted me this yesterday:
"So it happened my dads in the hospital. Likely not going to make it... usual symptoms of covid and then he fell out of bed last night... ambulance took him... [hospital] won't let visitors in."
My heart hurt for her. And when I asked her if she was going to see her mom, she replied:
"I want to manoj. So bad. But if something happened to her I wouldn't survive I can't right now"
She cannot be with her dad in what could be possibly his final moments. And she cannot be with her mom to console her. No hugs. No kisses.
Only lonely tears. And fracturing souls.
Another friend who was raised in Michigan but who I met in NYC, texted me two days ago asking if I knew two girls who grew up near us. But before I could even answer, he texted me this:
"Both of their fathers passed, yday and the other today. [One girl's] dad got it from an Indian wedding the weekend before shutdown. He got really sick and [the other girl's] dad drove him to the ER...ended up getting it too and they both passed"
And I just replied: "OMG. No I don't. But fuck. Hurts my heart... I would just hurt too much if that were the case."
I so badly want my mom, my friend, and those girls' families to be able to hug their loved ones. So desperately. To spread their magic. To share their hearts. To heal. To support. To prevent another soul, another heart, from shattering.
That is what I want the most. What I miss the most. And what I miss for so many others.