Sunday, November 06, 2005

He gave the BEST hugs

Today is Uncle Jerry's birthday. It would have been his 59th year if he had not died almost five years ago. There are an infinite number of things that I miss about Jerry, or Jurgen, as we in his family affectionately knew him. One very simple thing has been on my mind today. Hugs. Jurgen was the best hugger I ever knew. Jerry would greet you, or say goodbye or comfort with a hug. If he was saying hello he would have a big smile, a warm laugh, and a hearty hello (with his amazing German accent) and he would fold you up into this big hug. This was no quick hit and run hug. He would linger and rub your back and say something like "I am so glad to see you!". It was a hug that made you feel like the most important person in the world, completely safe, accepted and loved. His hugs felt like a ray of sunshine or a breath of fresh air. You could not help but hug back.

I miss his hugs deeply, yet I am grateful that he was in my life to show me how it should be. My hug guru.

About three weeks after he died, I had this amazing dream. In my dream I was hugging Jerry. It was so incredibly vivid that it felt absolutely real to me, like he was really there. It was a strange feeling because in my dream he didn't exactly have form, but he was absolutely real. The hug had a physical and psychic quality to it. I do not know how to articulate what is was like. In my dream, Jerry told me everything was ok and to me did not seem to know he was dead. I said "But you are dead, don't you know you are dead?" He just smiled at me, his warm, gentle smile, like it was some incredibly funny joke that I did not understand, but that I would get sooner or later. That was the end of the dream. I never dreamed of him again, but it was the most vivid dream I have ever had and I have never forgotten it.

And I never will.

Gay Men's Health Crisis
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
The Body
Day One


Blogger Jo said...

Sounds like Jerry was an awesome guy.
Happy Birthday to him.
You do him honor by celebrating his life.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

People who can hug like your Uncle Jerry are one in a million. Very handsome man. Thanks for sharing him with us.

3:19 AM  
Blogger Koulo said...

I've had dreams like that too!
It involved my mother who passed away in 1996. I see her, and of course I miss her, and I tell her how much I love and miss her, etc.
She says she's fine, she's ok and stop "worrying" about her. She basically says, "Get on with your life, stop mourning already"...even though I can't help missing her I get the point. Sometimes she does funny things that make me wake up laughing. It hasn't happened recently, but I do know these are vivid dreams, and for some reason, I get a heartfelt feeling that she REALLY IS fine. I'm the one here on Earth who's got to watch my back.

11:46 AM  

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