In the beginning there were lots of hugs, an acceptable way for people to show they cared. They no longer remember to do this and I miss Joe’s hugs even more. I guess it is up to me. I can give a hug and get one in return. Or I can simply say, “I need a hug today.”

Little "Hugs" I Can Give Myself

BREAKFAST IN BED. The bed is still warm. And who cares if a few crumbs get scattered around when I eat my toast?

SELECTED MUSIC. Invest in some tapes of relaxing background music, with no lyrics to jar back memories.

COMFORT DRINKS. Have a variety for all through the day, ending with hot chocolate and miniature marshmallows at bedtime.

ROCKING CHAIR. I rocked my children; I’ll try it for me. With the chair facing a window, I can look out and be in the sunshine.

PHONE LIFELINE. With a few selected persons, I can share all my heartaches and feel their unconditional love.

BOOKS. Old favorites are what I choose to read now. It’s almost like being with a long-lost friend.

AFGHAN. I like to feel the afghan my aunt made tucked tightly around me, even when I’m not cold. Her love surrounds me.

WARM BATH. I let anxieties melt away, relaxing as long as I like.

BED WARMER. Five minutes after turning the electric blanket on, my bed feels warmer and I feel more welcome there.

WORDS OF COMFORT. Reading a few verses from a book of inspirational writings brings peace at the end of my day.

HIS PILLOW. I hold his pillow and go to sleep.

What gives you comfort when you're missing your loved one? Share your story below.

Marta Felber, author of Grief Expressed: When a Mate Dies and Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies, has held many counseling and consulting positions in the U.S. and abroad, including serving for 10 years as director and head counselor at a center for expatriates in Jakarta, Indonesia.


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