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Best Hug Ever


I never had the chance to meet my grandfather on my father's side of the family. He died when my father was 12. However, he was somewhat of a legend in my family, especially to me.

My advanced apologies for the upcoming lengthy background on my grandfather, but I feel it's important to share it so that it helps explain my strong connection to him today.

My grandfather was born to immigrants from Germany. When his family came to America, they were very poor, much like the masses who migrated here. His parents ended up in a rural area of Missouri where he was born, and he made his way to Kansas City at some point in his early childhood.

As I understand it, my grandfather had a bit of a scrappy personality - determined to "make it" - and was an incredibly hard worker and stunningly resourceful. He didn't graduate from high school, but he made his mark using pure grit and sheer will. In his early teens, he somehow impressed a few of the wealthy families in Kansas City, which led to various jobs and important connections.

One of those connections helped him get a job at the major newspaper in the city as an office boy at the age of 14. He later became a newsboy and also delivered newspapers. Eventually, my grandfather worked his way up to become the director of circulation for the newspaper and the president of the newspaper circulation association in the Midwest. This was a big deal for him and his family. His career spanned more than 50 years at the newspaper.

Often touted as my grandfather's crowning achievement, he was profiled by a national magazine for his ingenious response to the massive flood of 1951. At any great news organization back in the day, it was a sign of weakness if you didn't deliver the news on schedule, regardless of bad weather and catastrophes. When the floodwaters inundated the streets of Kansas City and beyond, my grandfather was determined to get the newspaper out to its readership. The usual rail and highway routes out of the city were under water and many bridges had been washed away. He rallied the troops at the newspaper and various carriers to improvise newspaper distribution via boats, wagons, tractors, rented trucks and airplanes. The man was passionately committed!

I was often curious about him as a child, but that curiosity grew even stronger as I started my career as a journalist. As fate would have it, I ended up working at the same newspaper and in the same building and offices as he did. I loved being in that old building for many reasons, chief among them was feeling closer to my grandfather. He was a legend in his day and I have so much respect for him as a man and for what he accomplished. I understand and relate to his fortitude, as well. I, too, left home at an early age (16) to build a better life for myself. I finished high school, two college degrees and beyond on my own, most of it while raising a son on my own, too. I am not bragging here - just pointing how that I know how hard it is to come from a disadvantaged situation and find the strength to make something of yourself and live a good life no matter what comes your way. I also share his crazy drive and determination and commitment to a good career. I also knew my grandfather would understand my job better than anyone in my family. Although I was in editorial and he was in circulation, I imagine we could share some amazing "war" stories about our time in the business. Oh, how I wish I would have met him in this life!

Although I never met him physically, I did see my grandfather once in spirit. I was just shy of three years old and I was standing at my father's legs while my grandmother's coffin was being lowered into the ground. I need to preface this by pointing out that my grandfather and grandmother had an amazing love for each other. They were always "in love" with one another. My parents and aunt and uncle often spoke of the deep bond my grandparents shared and how heartbroken my grandmother was when my grandfather passed away from a heart attack. My grandmother died 15 or so years later from cancer. It was on the day of her funeral that I saw my grandparents reunite.

As we were finishing the graveside service, I remember holding onto my father's leg and looking up at him, feeling sad that he was sad. I was too young to understand what was happening, but I could tell that my dad was upset. I started looking around the cemetery grounds, which were quite beautiful with flowers and numerous huge trees. As I looked around, my eyes were drawn to the curve in the drive that ran parallel to the grave site. There at the curve stood my grandmother and grandfather holding hands. They were full-bodied, life-sized, incredibly happy and glowing! I have no idea how I knew it was my grandfather, but I just somehow knew it was him. With enormous smiles and beaming eyes, they happily waved to me. I could feel their love and happiness and it made me giddy! They stood there and waved for what seemed like a very long time. In my excitement, I tugged at my dad's slacks while squealing, "Daddy! Daddy! Look! It's grandma and grandpa! Look!"

My dad, mom and other relatives turned to look in the direction that I was pointing and waving. None of them could see my grandparents, but they believed that I saw them. I continued to jump up and down and wave right back! Eventually they turned away, joined hands again and walked away until fully disappearing into the grounds. This story has been retold for years in my family. I will never forget it. I cherish it to this day.

Okay, fast forward to the event at hand. A little more than a week ago, my mother called me to tell me that my father (they divorced when I was young, but can speak to one another without issue) had sent her a letter addressed to me via email. I no longer have a relationship with my father. In fact, it took me years to realize it, but my father was never a father to me or my brothers. I finally gave up and walked away from the relationship nearly 10 years ago due to his addiction issues, his constant disrespect for me and other deeply disturbing transgressions that a daughter should never have to endure at the hands of her father.

Without going into too much detail (I have already overloaded you with this story!), I feel a deep loss when it comes to the lack of a good, solid father in my life. No matter how much work I have done to heal, that tender spot still exists. I don't know why I still hold out hope that my father will someday turn into a decent human being, but it's still there and it seems to be eternal. For that reason, I decided to read the letter.

The purpose of the letter was for my father to make amends. He has done this several times in the past, but unfortunately each letter was written for himself and not for me. This letter was no different. Very superficial. I found myself crying on the couch, frustrated with myself for reading the letter and overwhelmed by all of the painful memories I've worked so hard to file away.

So, while lying on my couch softly crying, I decided to speak to my uncle out loud (my dad's brother who passed in 2006 - we were very close) and to my grandfather. I often speak to my uncle about my father. My uncle knew what a terrible father my dad was, so he tried to do what he could to be a good male influence in my life, which I appreciate. I was heartbroken when he passed.

I began speaking to my grandfather more consistently in the last year or so. I was told by a few gifted individuals that my grandfather is a primary guardian angel and has been in this role my whole life. So, I talk to him quite a bit now. I don't necessarily hear anything back, but I do feel that he and my uncle listen.

Through my tears, I told my uncle and grandfather that I was very confused as to why my father can't get his act together and be a good human being and that I am tired of the pain and disappointment. I told them that I wanted the familiar and painful ache to finally go away. I just don't want to deal with this anymore.

A few minutes after speaking out loud, I began to feel this incredible warmth/energy envelop my midsection, arms and neck. I don't mean warmth in the sense of being outside in 100-degree weather. It was this amazing warm feeling of pure love and strength. It completely enveloped me like someone was hugging me and then holding me. I could feel the gentle pressure of an embrace. I was surprised by it, but it was so emotionally moving that I had no desire to freak out. I looked around to see if I could see a shadow, apparition, something, but I couldn't. However, I knew in no uncertain terms that I was being hugged. It is so hard to put into words all that was communicated in that embrace, but it was amazing.

At first, I thought it might be my uncle. I know his energy very well, and his warmth is always reassuring. However, there was a different kind of strength to the energy/feeling embracing me. It was at this point that I realized that it could be my grandfather. It felt paternal and familiar (like family). I didn't want to waste time trying to further figure it out, so I closed my eyes and gave into the embrace while giving thanks over and over. I think it lasted for two minutes or so. It was spectacular! I didn't want it to end.

After about 10 minutes of basking in the glow from the hug, I called my mom to see if she could pick up on it. My mom has that sixth sense and I often turn to her for validation of the various spirit visits that happen in my life. Before I could share my thoughts on who I thought was hugging me, my mom blurted out, "It's your grandfather, honey." Well, good enough for me! My mom is usually right on target with her "perceptions." Plus, it felt right to me in that "knowing" sense.

This experience has forever changed me. I don't know how to properly describe my gratitude, but I am so thankful that my grandfather mustered up whatever energy he needed so that he could get through to me. It happened just when I needed it and just how I would imagine a father would be with his daughter when she is struggling. Kindness, love, strength, pride, respect, reassurance, compassion and a gentle kick in the backside. Thanks grandpa for the BEST HUG EVER! Now I have a stronger sense of what a paternal kind of love should be. Even more, this was a distinct sign that my grandfather is walking beside me in this life, and it touches my heart deeply and gives me strength to be proud of who I am, without shame.

I am sure I sound like a crazy person, but this was a beautiful experience, and I am grateful to be able to share it with you.

My apologies for the length of this story. Thank you for reading it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Faith1990, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Faith1990 (2 stories) (10 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-30)
Hi DestinyGirl--Thanks for sharing your lovely story with me! Family visits are my favorite kind of stories. I think there must be a special bond between grandfathers and granddaughters. Obviously I didn't have the chance to meet mine in person, but I love the bond we share anyway. I am happy for you that your grandfather provided comfort to you when you needed it. Does he still visit you? I know the story you told was from events a while ago, but perhaps he still pops in to say hello to you every now and then. 😊
MariaMason (4 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-30)
Beautifully written post. Happy for you that you got positive experience.
DestinyGirl (5 stories) (13 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-26)
Thank you for sharing your story. It touched me deeply and personally. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was 19 years old. I am the youngest granddaughter on that side of the family, and I always had a special bond with my grandpa. I was crushed when he passed away because he had always been so vibrant with such a strong personality, and he could make me giggle as a little girl like no one else.

One night, a few months after his passing, my family had gone to visit my grandmother and other extended family. As the youngster in the house, I was assigned to sleep on the couch in the living room. This was the room where my grandfather had passed away. Before going to sleep, I was thinking about what might happen during the night, and I made myself rather nervous.

In the middle of the night I woke up suddenly and was immediately terrified to open my eyes. I just knew if I opened them I would see something that would scare me terribly. I laid there whimpering for a few minutes, and then a sudden calm came over me. I realized that anything in that room was a manifestation of my grandpa, and that he wouldn't do anything to hurt me or purposely frighten me.

It was then that I felt that same warmth - loving, positive, peaceful. I let it envelop me for a moment and opened my eyes. I didn't see anything but the dark room. The warmth stayed with me until I fell back to sleep, and I slept very soundly for the rest of the night.

I'm glad you got to experience something so calm and loving with your grandfather - I hope you can always look back to that feeling and find comfort whenever you need to.
Faith1990 (2 stories) (10 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-26)
Hi Notjustme--I think it's wonderful that you feel such a strong connection to your mom. Although I felt the same kind of connection to my grandfather, there were times I wondered how it was possible because I never met him. Is it genetics or maybe their ability to influence us as they watch over us? Either way, I am thankful for the comfort he brings, as I am sure you feel the same way about your mom. We are blessed! Thank you for your lovely comments!
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-25)
This story touched me lots, I guess bc I can relate. I do not know how to explain it but I feel the same with my mother who has passed away 22 years ago. As I grew up I felt I knew her more and more. I felt I knew which part of me (character, traits, temperament, likes, etc) came from her. Anyway... Thanks for sharing!
Faith1990 (2 stories) (10 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-23)
Hawkseye-Thank you for your kind comments. I worry that I am a too verbose at times (which is typical for me!). I also hope this isn't the last hug from beyond! I certainly want a few more. 😊

Hi Jubeele-Thank you so much for the hug! It "felt" good! Sending hugs back to you! I am constantly surprised by the abilities of those who have passed on. After giving this more thought, I find it interesting that I felt my grandfather's hug now, as I imagine my he has likely done this more than once if he has been with me my whole life. Maybe I passed off previous attempts as hot flashes! LOL Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and for sending kindness my way. ❤

Emmaline-Hi neighbor! I am sorry you know this kind of pain, too. No one should have to go through it. It does make you stronger in some ways as you need to put one foot in front of the other and carry on, but keeping your heart open can be a challenge, as you have indicated. And I do feel that my grandfather is proud of me--thank you for bringing that up. In a reading a year or so ago, I was told that he was standing in front of a wall filled with my degrees, career triumphs and personal accomplishments (including my amazing son), saying "Look at all of these!" Ha! In some ways, these accomplishments are a bit of an "up yours" to my father. Not the most mature feeling, I know, but it feels kind of good to flip the bird his way sometimes. 😁 I so appreciate the support you sent my way, especially the HUG! Sending big hugs back to you! ❤ Thank you! PS: LOVE your stories! Please keep them coming!

Hi Augusta-Big thanks to you for sharing your experiences and comments on this website! I have been a fan for some time (we seem to have a similar disposition) and did read your stories. Love them! I am so happy that you feel your grandparents near you, especially considering the issues with your father. I am sorry you went through that. I dare say WHAT A FLIPPING JERK! (and I assume that is an understatement) You are correct - the ability to procreate doesn't mean a person will be a good parent. My father spent years screaming about the injustice of my "alienation" and how he "didn't do anything to deserve this." Made me sick to my stomach. I am beginning to think that the guidance from my grandfather is one of the reasons I had and continue to have the strength to move forward. There have been so many times when I wondered how in the world I was able to keep going and push further ahead. Sometimes that "drive" didn't feel like my own, if that makes sense. Considering you have had similar experiences, have you ever felt this way? The amazing hug I received from my grandfather made his presence so real, which leads me to believe he has been lifting me up for years. I imagine your grandparents have been doing the same for you! Thank you for sharing your own personal experiences. I am inspired by them. ❤
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-23)
You don't sound like a crazy person at all ❤ Our fathers seem to operate from the same play book - I walked away from mine 10 years ago and instead of any attempt at amends... He took me to court and had me legally disowned. All it takes is luck to be a father - being a Dad takes so much more and many just don't have it in them. Interesting that, having been through a similar paternal situation, I have taken to 'talking' to my late grandparents as well since I was quite small and have always felt that they were a constant presence right over my shoulder... Sort of like guardian angels. You may be interested in the two stories I have submitted as they are both about those grandparents ❤
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-21)
Hi Faith,
Please don't apologize for a beautifully written and moving story. I know the hole in your heart from having a parent who can never really be there for you or even to show you honest emotion. I'm so glad that your Grandfather who you admire so much was able to reach out to you and give you that total love and acceptance. I hope that you felt that he was proud of you. It's a very hard balancing act of being strong enough to overcome so many disappointments and still keep your heart open. He'd love that. Jubeele has the right idea. Sending you a hug. ❤
Jubeele (26 stories) (897 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-21)
Hi Faith1990, thank you for sharing such a beautiful experience. It's so good to know that our loved ones are still around somewhere, watching over us.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with your father. Sometimes, when the scars are deep, healing can take a while. But it seems to me that you also have your grandfather's strength of will, in that you've overcome your own share of obstacles.

So here's a HUG to you too. ❤
hawkseye12002 (3 stories) (36 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-21)
This was beautifully written, and you have no reason to apologize for the length of your experience. In my opinion, offering more details makes it a better story.

I'm so happy for you that you had this positive experience. Hopefully, it won't be the last for you.

Well done. 😊

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