To the Grandparents Asking to Hug Their Grandchildren

Grandchildren

To the Grandparents asking to hug their grandchildren,

I’m so sorry I have to tell you no.

No, I can’t let you hug them. No, I can’t let you have physical contact with them. No, not even for a second. No, not even if you promise not to kiss them.

No matter how hard you try, you won’t convince me that it’s no big deal.

I don’t want to forbid you from physically showing them love, but I have to.

And I’m sorry. I don’t like it either.

I know how hard it is for you—how hard it is for all of us, really.

You already worry about how much time you have left on this earth. How much time you have left to see your grandchildren, to celebrate holidays with them, to watch them grow. You don’t want to waste it or spend it alone. I know this because you’ve told me so.

You want to take every opportunity to hug your them and love them because you know you’re not going to live forever.

They want to hug you so badly, too, and I want them to be able to.

But we will not risk your health or safety—we will not risk your life for the sake of a hug.

This isn’t about the fact that you won’t live forever—we already know that, though we don’t like to think about it. No, it’s about wanting to help you live for longer.

So that when this is all over—because one day it will be—you’ll still be here to hug them. And kiss them. And sit with them on your lap.

To the Grandparents Asking to Hug Their Grandchildren,

I’m so sorry I have to tell you no.

No, I can’t let you hug…

Posted by A Beautifully Burdened Life by Jenny Albers on Monday, April 6, 2020

But in the meantime, I’m going to tell you no because while it might hurt your heart, it’s your health I’m worried about.

Telling you no equals love.

Telling you no equals respect.

Telling you no equals protection.

By telling you no, we’re hanging onto hope that you will still be here when we can joyfully and in good conscience say YES.

Right now you are watching your grandchildren grow through a screen. You are blowing them kisses virtually. You are celebrating holidays and birthdays with them remotely, and it’s just not the same.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you’re missing time together and the ability to love each other in person.

But I’m so glad you’re still with us. Even if from a distance.

Because the distance separating you from your grandchildren right now is nothing like the distance that will separate you should we carry this virus into your lives.

***

This piece originally appeared at A Beautifully Burdened Life by Jenny Albers, published with permission.


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Jenny Albers
Jenny Albers is a full-time mom who feels blessed to call the midwest home. She is raising two earth babies and remembering two heaven babies. You can find her (trying) to keep up with her personal blog, A Beautifully Burdened Life, when she has.a few minutes to spare. Her work can also be found at Her View From Home, Love What Matters, Pregnancy After Loss Support, Scary Mommy, That's Inappropriate, and various other spaces around the web.