I, along with 275 other widowed individuals, attended Camp Widow this weekend. The workshops were great. The wisdom shared was inspiring. And, all of us left with a renewed spirit of hope.
I haven't been touched like this in a very long time.
When I say touched, of course I can report that my heart was touched by the love and support that spilled over in each room where we gathered. But, the touch I speak of is something different. I speak of the physical touch.
How many of us go day after day with little physical contact these days? Some of us may have children around, which does bless us with the occasional hugs or kisses, but how long has it been since a pair of grown up arms wrapped themselves tightly around you, and just held you, for a very long time?
I can tell you, it's been a long time. This weekend I saw old friends. I saw friend's I've known for awhile, but had never met in person. I met new people that became instant friends. And with each of these encounters, I was embraced.
I stood there in the middle of the lobby, with my arms around someone just as hurt as I am. I leaned into someone who's heart has been broken in all the same places as mine. I was cheek to cheek with only the moisture of fresh tears between us. I kissed, and was kissed, with messages of love.
For the first time, in a very long time, I was given something tangible. It was a gift of self. It was a gift of strength. It was a gift of shared vulnerability.
It told me that I mattered. It tethered me to another human being. It affirmed my place in this world .
I was given the gift of touch.