Every Hug


What if, at the moment we leave this life, we get to feel every hug we have ever given, ever received? What if we get to hear every laugh that has made us laugh out loud, too? What if, rather than seeing our own silly little life flash before our eyes, we get to see every majestic sunset, each dazzling, heart-stopping sunrise, every gathering of birds, every ocean’s surf blasting and foaming against the rocks, every salmon leaping in a silvery arc out of a quiet river in the mist of early morning? What if we get to hear the joyful secret of every baby’s first laugh? What if we get to witness a tiny bee’s exploration of the most luscious flower? What if we get to see the faces of people who’ve heard our stories over and over and still laughed anyway? What if we get to watch all the dogs we have ever adored, their hearts full of mischief and love, running full-out and strong on the beach? What if we get to smell, once more, the inside of a barn, run our hands across the smooth, worn leather of a saddle, and see a new mama horse nuzzling her foal? What if all of our senses are suddenly bombarded with all of those sights and smells and sounds and feelings, those things and moments which have made our breath catch in our throats, the ones that brought us to tears and to joy all at once – what if?

If all those things are true, if all those things happen to us with our final breath, it really might not be a bad way to go. What if, suddenly, right at the end of it all, we realize with such clarity that the whole thing has been so exquisite, just so perfect in all of its joy and angst and wonder and glory, that the very last thing slipping out in a whisper from our lips is the the only thing left to say, the greatest prayer of all: THANK YOU. That’s what I’m thinking. JS


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