The power of touch is one of the things that helped me to start healing. The picture below is a necklace I have that has a locket with Brad’s picture in it, his wedding ring and a vial of his ashes. I wore it around my neck for most of the time and it stayed warm next to my skin. When I needed to connect with him or have a conversation with him, I would wrap my hand around it and feel it’s warmth. Before Brad passed, if one of us couldn’t wear our wedding ring, the other would wear it on a bracelet or a necklace. I was keeping the tradition and it really helped me to feel a continued connection with him.
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FINDING IT IN YOUR LOVED ONES CLOTHING
One of the major things I missed was feeling Brad’s warmth next to me while I sleep. The first thing I did after he passed was get two of the shirts he wore all the time and put them on our pillows. His scent was still on them and I would hug and inhale them while I slept trying to extract whatever was left of him. I slept with these for a long time until they got yukky with my tears and whatnot that I had no choice but to launder them. Just the shirts, not the pillows. I continued putting the clean shirts on the pillows for a long time.
LOVE FROM YOUR FUR BABIES
Body heat, it’s what I needed the most for the cold and empty spaces on the bed. Brad and I shared our room with our four dogs but they weren’t allowed on the bed and they knew it. A few nights after Brad passed, I was on the bed crying and Lulu, our American Bulldog, jumped up on the bed and layed right up against me with her face real close to mine. She was looking at me with sad eyes then started licking the tears off my face. The warmth of her body and the love I felt from her was such a huge comfort that from that night on she continued to sleep with me. Of course since I let one of the dogs sleep on the bed, the other three wanted to as well. The more the merrier!
GET A PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE
I had a book that I read everyday called HEALING AFTER LOSS (DAILY MEDITATION) BY Martha Whitmore Hickman and it helped me tremendously. One of the things she suggested when you’re missing human touch was to get a professional massage. I never thought of this and I decided to try it out. The very next day I went in for a 90 minute Hot Stone massage and let me tell you, it was an awesome experience! When I got in the room I told the massage therapist that I was in mourning and pay no mind to me when I start crying. She was very understanding and everything she did was so soothing. The warmth of the stones and her hands were like a healing balm, I almost fell asleep. About half way through the massage she had me roll on my back then she started massaging my forehead and slightly pinching my eyebrows. It felt wonderful! At that moment I was closing my eyes and in my heart I spoke to Brad, I expressed how I wished he could experience this too. Just then I had an out of body experience. I was looking down from above and I saw Brad laying in my place. I saw him slowly smile with his eyes closed in relaxation, pleasure written all over his face. Next thing you know, we’re one, I’m laying back on the bed but I was in Brad’s body and we were feeling the pleasure of the massage together. It was all wonderfully strange but I welcomed it. I signed up for a years membership after that and got a 90 minute massage once a month. The out of body experience never happened again but the massages were still very therapeutic.
FIND IT IN A HUG FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS
At that time it was just my son and I living in our home but my son was 16, had a girlfriend and was doing his own thing. Plus I think it scared him to see me the way I was, so I was alone most of the time. Family and friends checked in on me from time to time but they are busy living their own lives and some are afraid to talk to you because they don’t know what to say. So they just stay away. I valued my time alone because I didn’t want people to see me being a wreck so whenever I’d go out, I’d put on the best face I could and make like everything’s okay. What I really longed for was a shoulder to cry on. I thought of my sister, Evelyn. I have five sisters and Evelyn is the second to the oldest. She tries to mother us all and I thought she would be the perfect one to seek out. So I went to her apartment to visit her. She was busy cooking in the kitchen and she talked to me while she was chopping veggies. At this moment the pressure in my chest from unshed tears started to overflow. When she saw that I was crying she started to lecture me on how I need to stop thinking about it and keep busy! I just looked at her and said, “Can you please just hold me and let me cry?” Her face suddenly softened, she led me to the couch and as we sat sat down she wrapped me in her arms and I just let it all out. I cried for a long time. Having someone hold you, feeling the warmth of their skin, the tightness of their arms around you is so healing. I’m telling you, that moment right there carried me over for a long time. I realized then the power of touch, how healing it is and how much I needed it. I’m not a hugger but from that moment on, I welcomed all hugs.