Relationships

Who Do You Want to Hug Right Now?

when harry met sally hug

If I could wrap my arms around someone right now, it would be…

…my mom. We haven’t seen her since last winter, and I miss her warm smile, her cold hands, and how she eats French fries with a fork. Plus, her chocolate chip cookies and the way she always gets movie titles slightly wrong. She hasn’t seen the boys in a year and they’re going to seem enormous.

A bright spot: Moderna announced that early data shows its vaccine to be 94.5% effective. This is amazing news and hopefully means we’ll be hugging loved ones by next spring.

Who are you excited to squeeze? What do you miss about them? How are things where you are? Hope you’re hanging in there. xoxoxo

P.S. Having a baby during coronavirus, and socially distanced weddings.

(Top photo from When Harry Met Sally.)

  1. Nuclear_Sister says...

    It’s not going to be Spring. Fall is potentially more likely. Please keep your hopes realistic, for the sake of everyone’s mental health.

  2. Kelsey says...

    My nana- she is 78 and one of my favorite people in the world. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. We cried on the phone together the day Biden was announced the winner and I so wish we could’ve hugged that day.

  3. Kata says...

    Literally anyone. After 7.5 years I broke up with my ex, moved back to Hungary after 6 years of living in Germany. I practically left my life behind and moved back in with my emotionally distant parents, that were abusive all my childhood. I lost my job back in spring due to the virus and now I feel stuck. I haven’t been this lonely in my entire life

    • Jody Winter says...

      Kata, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I don’t even know what to say except I hope the hug I’m sending you from New Zealand reaches you soon.

    • margaret says...

      I’m sending a hug too, Kata. This will pass. You will have love around you again.

  4. Joan's daughter says...

    Ah – my Mom! She passed away two years ago and I miss her in so many ways. On Saturday 11/7, I was eating a late breakfast by myself at a local diner when I heard small bits of cheering and applause. I figured it was somebodies birthday. Then I heard someone say “284, they called it” and I realized that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had just been declared the winners of Pennsylvania. Then I got a text from my fiancé who works at Trader Joe’s saying “something must have just happened because TJ’s is going crazy!”
    When I realized what happened I heard a woman behind me on a cell phone say “I wish I could hug you right now, Mom” and my eyes immediately filled up with tears. My strong, smart mother who had been told she could either be a teacher or a nurse when she graduated high school (both wonderful professions but she had a choice of only those 2) had marched for the ERA in Washington in 1978, she had been the president of the local League of Women Voters and in her 60’s became an elected official herself and served in that role for 17 years until she died.
    I realized at that moment how much I wanted to hug her. When we watched the speeches that night I knew mom and I would be on the phone discussing every little and every big thing. I wish there was a word to describe how happy and how sad I was at the same time.

  5. Amanda says...

    Ahhh! I’m *just* catching up now after a week of long school days and evenings with parent teacher conferences.

    I never knew how bad I missed hugging my students until about two weeks ago. I am the Distance Learning 3rd grade teacher for the students who opted to be online only. The rest of the grade is in person learning. As I buzz through the hallways I sometimes spot a former student of mine because I was a kindergarten teacher when this current class was in kindergarten. Ok, background story over.

    I hear the tiniest knock on my classroom door, nobody EVER knocks on my door(it’s been a lonely year).
    I heard one of my team teacher’s ask someone in the hallway if they wanted to come in to my room and she quietly opened my door.
    There she was, one of my teeny tiny former kindergarten students, eyes all squinted up smiling at me under her mask. I rushed over ready to gather her into a big hug and realized I couldn’t.
    I got choked up as I asked her questions and told her how happy and excited I was to see her.
    This little girl, I remember clear as bell years ago 4, holding her as she cried in my arms because she didn’t want to get a flu shot at the school. So I asked the aide to cover my classroom so I could go with her to get her flu shot. She sat in my lap, she was so upset, and I hugged her.
    I miss that connection with students, and didn’t even realize it until that morning she came to visit.

  6. Emily says...

    My mom passed away in April at the beginning of this global ordeal. What I wouldn’t give to hug her! That being said, I’m aching for hugs and communal mourning. We did a small family service but have held off on a larger service because my family feels like a virtual, socially distanced, anxiety-ridden version is not an option. Simply put, I want to hug my moms’ loved ones… and pre-pandemic I never would have known how important that is to me.

  7. Nancy says...

    Maybe I am the only one here with this opinion, but I cannot imagine how I would be doing mentally right now if I had stopped hugging my loved ones back in March. I am so glad they have all felt the same way and that we have not held back from each other, but perhaps that is just my family. Because of that, 2020 has been full of time spent together and so many memories. If you are wearing masks, what is the harm in a hug or reaching out and touching hands, even? Seeing all of these stories is just so heartbreaking!! Sending love to all of those who are separated by distance or who are high risk and feel so isolated in this time <3

    • Amy says...

      My mum hasn’t been able to visit my dad in his longterm care facility since March. She lives alone and hasn’t hugged anyone or even been around people because she’s also high risk so has been isolating. She’s barely left the house (a few drives to the coast to sit in the car and read her book before heading back home). It’s HARD. But what’s even harder is the thought that she could get sick, or my dad could get sick, or I could get sick, and by the time the vaccine rolls around one or all of us aren’t here to hug anymore. That keeps us going. We’re doing it for each other.

    • Nuclear_Sister says...

      There is much harm even if you are wearing masks! Masks plus distancing, that means no hugs! Thank your family for prolonging this for everyone 🤦‍♀️

  8. Burcu says...

    I miss my parents so much! I have a one month old niece, they live overseas. We cannot risk traveling ;( Hopefully, I will hug her a lot in summer!

  9. The last time I saw my mom — December 2019 — it was just days after we learned that she was in the first stages of early dementia. At that point she could still drive, talk on the phone and remember my children’s birthdays. All of that is gone now. Some days it feels like I will never forgive 2020. It is easy to blame my grief on this terrible year. Other days I’m thankful for 2020. I’m thankful that this year has forced me to find peace with what I cannot control. When we finally do see each other, I will cherish every sweet moment I have to hold and love my mother. I will cherish it in a new, unembarrassed and wholly present way that I’ve never experienced before.

    • Maggie says...

      Paige, thank you for sharing your story in such a poignant and honest way. I was very moved by your words. I am so sorry that 2020 has stolen this precious time from you. I hope you are reunited with your mum soon and that you and your children can forge some new memories with her soon. Things may not be as they were before but whatever comes next will be built from love and a shared bond that nobody else can understand. Sending solidarity xx

    • Paige says...

      Maggie, thank you for taking time to share a little love with me!

  10. Melissa says...

    I just want my husband back. I never thought I would endure a pandemic and deployment the same year. It is our fourth one together but it never gets easier especially this year. He’s my person and the kids and I miss him dearly.

  11. K says...

    I miss my mom too! She lives in South Korea so it’s hard for either of us to visit each other. Miss her cooking and hugs and just being in the same room as her. Hoping that’s true about the vaccine, and that we all stay healthy and well until then. It’s hard not to be anxious with a virus going around…

  12. Mary A Logan says...

    My parents. I have not seen them in person since July 2019. They are in NJ. I am in WA. I miss them so badly it physically hurts.

    • Annie says...

      Hi Mary, I’m in NJ also. Don’t know exactly what I can do, but if we think of something creative, I’m on board.

  13. Dragana says...

    Oh my god, I woke up the other morning with a distinct physical urge for a hug. I knew I missed people, but I felt this is my chest, arms, and shoulders, as if they are stiff from not going into the hug motion for so long.

    • Charlie says...

      Hi Dragana – Sending you a big, warm hug. XO

  14. HH says...

    Everyone. Friends, family, acquaintances after meeting at a party or gathering. Living alone, I went many months without so much as touching another human (luckily I have my 60 pound dog to hug and it’s the best consolation hug I could ask for), and it truly makes you realize how much you take for granted even the smallest, and seemingly insignificant touches. Hugging your long-time friend after they experience a loss, a quick “hello” or “good bye” hug for an impromptu lunch date with a new friend, or a “it was nice to meet you and I’d like to see you again” hug after a first date. Looking forward to the days when the every day hug is part of our lives again, and in the mean time I’ll send a virtual hug to everyone else missing hugs as well.

  15. Julee says...

    Joanna,
    I have to remark on the special beauty of the women in your family.
    From what you have shared of them- your grandmother, your aunt, your mother- they have this certain beauty that is deep and seems to grow, not fade, with time.
    I admire that.
    PS I miss my mother too.

  16. Jemma says...

    My mum. I grew up an only child, she a single-parent, so it’s always just been me and her. Now I’m in the USA and she is in Australia. It’s been over a year since we saw each other. I miss her.

  17. Ashleigh says...

    I want to hold and cuddle all my friends’ 2020 babies. I’ve gotten glimpses from the front porch, but FaceTime doesn’t do the little cuties justice.

  18. Betsy says...

    The father of one of my closest and dearest friends passed away suddenly a few months ago. I live on the opposite side of the country and wasn’t able to go home for the funeral, which may have also been the case without a pandemic, but not being able to fly back at all, or have her come to me for a much needed getaway, makes me so, so sad. I want to hug her and cry with her and let her talk or not talk about everything as much as she wants. We text daily, but it’s not the same. I miss my friend.

  19. Julie says...

    I want to hug one of my best friends, Nene. I haven’t seen her in almost a year, she has rheumatoid arthritis and a storied medical history. We were roommates in college and years after. When she was breastfeeding her twins last summer, I would sit in her big bed and watch her switch boobs and feed both at once and marvel at the strength of women. She has the biggest smile, the most generous spirit, and always cries when she laughs. I will smoosh her when it’s safe again.

  20. Allison says...

    I am so eager to hug my best friend’s son. I haven’t seen him since February when he was 6 months and now he’s a walking and babbling toddler. We live far from each other so it’s not often I get to see him anyway but I feel like I’m missing out on such a fun and important stage of his (and my best friend’s) life. Fingers (and toes and eyes) crossed for a safe and effective vaccine asap.

    Virtual hugs to all who need them <3

  21. My little students in the their first year in primary school in Italy.

  22. Annie says...

    I want to hug everyone here who has refrained from hugging the people they love most in order to make them and our society safer. My faith in in this country has taken a nosedive this year, but perhaps I need to focus on the helpers.

  23. Annie says...

    I need to hug my grandpa. He lives in a very tiny town in Minnesota and has been largely stuck inside due to covid. We normally have a family reunion every summer but could not this year. I miss him so much. I also want to hug my little nephew who turned 1 in August. I have seen him many times in person but usually at a distance. He is just getting so big.
    I also want to hug my mom. dad. sister. brother. friends. uncles. aunts. everyone.

  24. Emily says...

    My sister. In the middle of the pandemic she found out her husband of 25 years (they married very young) has been involved with someone else. We live in very different parts of the country and all I want to do is get on an airplane and knock on her door and hug her forever. I didn’t realize how much I want to hug her until I read this and I started sobbing thinking of just how much I miss her and wish I could be physically beside her right now.

  25. Kelly says...

    I am going to hug my Nana so much. She’s not a big hugger, but I can just picture her on her couch with her turtleneck and her fancy dish of Goldfish, refilling everyone’s drinks. She’s ninety years old, and doing well, but living by herself has been so hard on her mentally this year, and I haven’t seen her since last Christmas. She’s the social butterfly of the family. I’m hoping Christmas 2021 will be a good one.

  26. Andrea says...

    Dr. Anthony Fauci for all the shit he’s taken this year for trying to keep people safe.

    Hilariously, he’s the last person in America who would (with 100% solid reasons) not accept a hug from outside his household.

    • Charlie says...

      HA! YES!

  27. My father. He died last July. I havent seen him for 10 years as I am far from home and cant afford to go back. But its him who I want to hug. If I can go home it would be his ashes that I will hug but I am even okay with that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so sorry, Merlinda xoxo

  28. R says...

    This may sound strange, but the course of this pandemic has made me realize, no, truly face, the importance of affection. Because the circumstances of the pandemic have removed so many ways I kept my myself busy –childrens’ lessons and carpools, tasks, clients– I now have very little in the way of distractions. As a result, a personal dynamic has come into relief: My husband, who has never been that affectionate, is still not, and simply will never be. I am learning to hug myself instead of yearn and to begin planning for a day when maybe I will receive the affection I have, for a long time, hoped for.

    • Rusty says...

      It doesn’t sound strange at all. I get exactly what you mean, totally! xx

  29. Marianne says...

    My parents. I just found out I am having a little girl in March, a little sister for our son and I just want to be able to hug them. I see them twice a week as they care for our little boy so I am incredibly lucky but I miss contact and connection.

  30. Maria Anagnostopoulou says...

    I want to hug my son! We live at different houses but although we see each other every week we dont touch since March. Its so frustrating…

  31. Marcela says...

    This post made me both emotional and hopeful. More than anything I wish I could hug my mom and dad and spend Christmas with them. I live 10.000 miles away from my family and because of COVID travel restrictions, I haven’t seen them in a year and a half with no forecast to when the borders will be opening again.

    It’s a bittersweet feeling to live a wonderful “covid free” life in a country that has nearly no local transmission cases while family and friends back home are living the worst of this pandemic. I’ve been living abroad for almost 10 years, working as an international civil servant which brings me great joy and purpose in life, but not being able to take annual leave and spend time back home changes everything for us who live this expat/immigrant life. The entire mood in our office has changed and we are all exhausted after 10 months working extra hard to better serve our communities and help people cope with the pandemic. We were reminded today that the crisis is far from over and this is a marathon, not a sprint. We must take care of ourselves and our mental health, as well as each other. It has definitely created a bigger sense of solidarity among our team.

    At my job, we are constantly receiving direct updates and news from our colleagues at the WHO and after months of unknowns, the current spirit is of hope and excitement for this vaccine. Life will never be like it was before this pandemic but I’m encouraged and excited to see where we will go from here.

  32. Lisa says...

    My mom. I haven’t been able to since March. We have seen each other, but no hugging and now i haven’t seen her since August, and I don’t know when I will be able to again (I’m in the U.K. where we have a lockdown right now). Her brother died two weeks ago, and it is incredibly hard for her (and the family!) as we are all apart.

  33. EE says...

    My mom. She died four weeks ago today (from Covid 19), and I am completely heartbroken. Please wear your masks and only be out and about doing what truly must be done. To everyone out there going about things, more or less, as usual, please consider that someone else is paying the dear price for your actions with their life. The higher the numbers are in a community, the greater likelihood that the most vulnerable will die and, in the meantime, they are incredibly isolated and deeply lonely. Choose the simplest act of kindness, choose love in action. <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so so sorry, EE. That is heartbreaking.

    • EE says...

      You are ever so dear, Joanna – thank you. XO

    • Vava says...

      So sorry for your loss, EE. We definitely mask up when we have to go somewhere and I’m continually shocked at the number of people I know who scoff at 1) staying HOME! and 2) wearing masks. It’s unreal.

    • Joanna says...

      I am so sorry, EE, much strength and light to you. I lost my dad to Covid 19 in April, and it feels like he just vanished without the chance of seeing him off, or hugging my mum, or family… just gone.

    • EE says...

      Oh, Joanna, I am very sorry for your loss. Yes, “just gone” in all the ways that mean the most. And yet, I try to remember that my mom can not truly be gone as she will always live in my heart, just as your Dad is in yours. May all your special memories be a comfort to you, especially in the quiet moments. Take gentle care of yourself and know there are many others who truly do understand. Giving you a big hug. XO

    • Julie says...

      My heart breaks for you, EE, I am so very sorry.