I hugged a hundred people tonight. Maybe more. Some of them more than once.
That's a whole lot of hugging. I hugged short people and tall people. Large people and small people.
Plump people are the most comfy, I've decided. Kooshy.
I hugged people with all the energy and fervor of my soul. No whimpy, psuedo-hugs for ME! No sir! If you're gonna hug a hundred or more people you aughta do it RIGHT.
For instance, No patting. When people do a lot of patting in their hugs it's far less meaningful and heartfelt. You may as well be burping a baby. And burping an adult in mourning is disrespectful.
A patty-back hugger is an uncomfortable hugger. You gotz to really get in there. Hang on tight. Ya know?
Tonight was my Abuelita's Viewing. She was beautiful.
People came from far and wide to pay their respects. It was quite a gathering. I know she was delighted.
I hugged all The People. Because that's the right thing to do when The People come from far and wide to say good-bye to your Abuelita.
I wasn't sure who 25% of those people were. I assume they were related. But if a confused Mexican man had wandered in off the street I would have hugged him warmly, told him I was sorry for his loss and thanked him for coming.
I'm not sure I am very comfy to hug. I'm all elbows and ribs and freakishly long torso and boney little face. Not to mention I am far too tall for the hugging of the general population. All my female cousins and aunts hug me to find a face full of belly button.
Most of the hugging I did tonight was for the benefit of others. I wanted to be a comfort. I wanted to be of service.
There was, however, a point when I was reminded why I was hugging everyone.
My cousin, Rosalina, came over to me in tears.
"We won't hear her call us Paloma (dove) anymore. She won't say 'Que Dios te Bendiga'. She blessed us, Crystal. She ALWAYS blessed us."
Rosalina broke the damn. I feared my grandmother's mourners would drown in my salty tears.
My sweet, muscular cousin David saw my distress. He wrapped me up tightly and I sobbed. 83% of the make-up from my face was now transferred to David's crisp white shirt sleeve.
I felt proud of my make-up on his sleeve. A badge of honor. A man with make-up on his sleeve is a gentleman of compassion and Love. (I do feel a bit badly though. I hope he can get it rinsed out before the service tomorrow morning.)
I eventually pulled myself away from him, but found I was still leaking profusely.
My Tia Rosa hugged me next. She is half of me in size. I felt a bit like a giraffe bending down to sip from a (much needed) refreshing brooke. I buried my enormous face in her tiny neck and let her comfort me. She gave me the most beautiful assurances.
I ran dry.
Rosalina said she was tempted to slip a Xanex in my water bottle. No thanks.
Don't get me wrong. I love a Xanex spiked beverage as much as the next guy. But I need to feel this. I need to revel in the Pain. I need to feel every ounce of hurt and know I lived this moment to the best of my ability.
I am currently awaiting my Coral (sis) and my sweet Grant (nephew) to arrive. They'll be here at 3am-ish. Then I gotta get up at 6am-ish so we can rehearse the song we are meant to sing at the service. We gotta get all harmonized.
As I sit here staring at the wall and contemplating the events of the day I wonder about the act of The Hug.
What could it mean? Is it strange that we, as humans, wrap our arms around each other and find ourselves eyeball to eyeball and chest to chest when we express Love?
Why do we do that? Why don't we, instead, pick each other's noses in times of great distress?
The mysteries of the Universe boggle the mind.