Dear community,

This week’s e-letter was written by my friend, JoLene Weir, RN. She originally “met” me in 2016 on AMNW and later became a grief client. Through focused hard work, she transformed her life in ten intense weeks. She’s nothing but miraculous.

JoLene continues learning, growing, and implementing her discoveries. She’s thriving, writing, and sharing her journey with others. To Hug and to Hold is JoLene’s 2nd thoughtful message she’s written for us.


Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,


To hug and to hold.

I’m noticing a lot more hugging going on. It’s a good thing I believe. It’s made me think about the difference between hugging and holding.

Here’s what I see and experience…
Hugging is a form of saying hello, a greeting. In this era of divisiveness and isolation, the act of hugging connects us in a tactile and emotional way.

Men are hugging more these days vs the more formal handshake. The other day I hugged my niece goodbye, received a hug hello from my friendly female bank officer, and hugged a hello to friends. I even signed e-mails with my usual, “love and a hug.”

Then there is holding.

Oh my, so many ways to hold and to be held. Holding someone goes way beyond hugging. It is a deep communication vs a quick greeting or goodbye.

Holding takes time. It takes intention. It takes courage both to give and receive. Holding speaks volumes without using a single word. Holding allows for hurt, sadness, fear, and yes, grief to be expressed and shared. Holding is usually more private.

When a child’s hurt or scared, holding helps.
When tears are flowing or stuck, holding helps.
When there’s a tragedy, holding helps.

Begin noticing.

I invite you to begin noticing opportunities to hug or to hold. To allow being hugged or held. Notice the circumstances. What is this human form of communication saying? How do you feel when giving a hug or holding someone?

We’re all busy and rushed. Yet our need for connection is greater than ever. Say hello with a hug. Hold a grieving loved one. Let yourself be held.

Hugging and holding speak volumes.

Words are wonderful and necessary. But there are times in our lives when words don’t suffice. There are either no words, or we simply cannot bring forth the utterance of the spoken word.

This act of connection, of communication, is a way of being – especially in times of grief and crises. Open yourself to giving and receiving, in happiness and in sorrow.

To hug and to hold.

PS: If you want to connect with Jolene, please leave a reply and I’ll send her contact info to you.