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Erin Brackbill


I’m a hugger.
I’m a Southerner, an extrovert, a 7, and a caregiver by profession.
I’ll hug anyone – a side hug, a bear hug, a quick squeeze—
they’re all good by me.
I’m a firm believer that a good hug is like duct tape, or fresh air and sunshine.
Social distancing is hard for people like me,
but since I’m called to care for my community by distancing,
I’m hugging you in my heart
and in the ways I am able;
like seeing patients, running an errand, or a saying a prayer.
I’m a hugger.
I feel connected when I’m in the presence of another
(closer than 6 feet).
Today I’m thankful we can reach out online,
but I also see the hurt and lack of true social connection
in a world where we are virtually over-connected.
So when this need for social distancing passes over
and we can be close together again,
I imagine we will be much more appreciative
of the worth and power of social connection,
and I’ll be the first in line to offer free hugs.

© by Erin Brackbill.
Used here with the author's permission.


Erin Brackbill is a pediatrician, with a special interest in lifestyle medicine and public health, who loves to run, hike, bike, and garden. Married to her medical school sweetheart, and the mother of two teenagers she affectionately declares as “great,” Erin lives in Greenville, South Carolina.



Post New Comment:
Sometimes we only miss things when there are gone.
Posted 06/03/2020 05:46 PM
Loved this and so true!! Thank you from a fellow southerner and Greenvillian!
Posted 06/01/2020 01:31 PM
May it be so! Timely message.
Posted 06/01/2020 12:54 PM
You've captured with great feeling what we are all missing in this time of crisis and a reminder what the power of the human touch offers to each of us.
Posted 06/01/2020 11:09 AM
oh, I agree...I NEED a hug...I NEED to give some hugs...
Posted 06/01/2020 11:01 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
You've put this human need so well. How it hurts that human affection is so fraught with danger.
Posted 06/01/2020 10:56 AM
You found time in your busy life to write a timely poem, just like William Carlos Williams. Thanks Erin.
Posted 06/01/2020 09:16 AM
michael escoubas:
Just what the doctor(s) ordered! If words could suffice for hugs, consider the YDP family so blessed. Thank you Erin.
Posted 06/01/2020 08:49 AM
Larry Schug:
You always hug trees, no social distancing needed. "like duct tape, fresh air and sunshine"--wow!
Posted 06/01/2020 07:23 AM

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