Why I Hug People
I wrote this blurb originally thinking it was a rough draft that I would post on Facebook a week before the business meeting and deliver on a business meeting, just like all my other speeches. However, I ended up never posting it online, and having this serve as my ‘life ceremony’ speech. In my youth club, each member has a final even where they transition into being alumni. The event is traditionally held at their houses, and everyone who knows them and values them, including current members and alumni show up. There are two chairs by a fire place, one for the person ‘taking life’ (the person being commemorated), and another for a person ‘giving life’. They usually reminisce about their time together, sharing funny, embarrassing, or inspiring stories that the rest of the audience might not have known. Often times it gets emotional. There is room for an audience usually sitting on the floor or some grass nearby, and there is generally food nearby, also outside, so people can eat without leaving the event.
Typically at the end of the ceremony, the person taking life gives a speech, and then the events end, and people either go to sleep there or disperse, depending on how late it is. Sometimes these events end at around midnight, either if the person taking life lives in a noise-sensitive community or if not too many people showed up and wanted to speak. Sometimes these events end far later, and many people have to leave early, so fewer people get to hear the speech. The speech is usually recorded in these cases. I did quite a few unorthodox things during my life ceremony, and decided to give my speech before the ceremony ended so that more people could hear it live. I gave it at around midnight, and probably 30+ people heard it live. However, there was a problem with the recording, so it is lost to history. For reference, the main part of my life ceremony started at 6pm and ended at 9am, with zero intermissions (besides my speech). Usually there are some breaks in the middle, but I had no time for that since I wanted to let everyone speak. I did not eat in the middle, take any bathroom break, rest, nothing. It was a great time (no sarcasm).
Anyway, back to the main point, I gave my speech about why I hug people (it was well known that I was a big hugger, giving long and frequent (consensual) hugs). I think I had some notes on some app (probably google keep), but I can’t find anything. Probably the notes were just mental. I talked about a lot more than what is said here below. This blurb is written in the same format as the others, but it was never published online like the others, I would view this more as an idea of what I spoke about (in other words, don’t judge me that it’s short and sucks).
Original, Unmodified Speech #
February 9th, 2017 (delivered August 2017) #
Heads up: I was not sad while writing this, so you don’t be sad either.
When I was in 7th grade (before Ramon), my grandma, Safta Mimi, was sick with cancer. I was going to do my Bar-Mitzvah in Israel over the summer (my birthday is in July), and in the start of the summer, it became kinda clear that Safta Mimi was going to die sooner rather than later (remember the heads up). I decided to leave for Israel one month earlier, and spend the majority of the month waking up early, taking the bus to the hospital, and spending the day with Safta Mimi.
She isn’t my only loved one that has died, but she’s the only loved one who I’ve spent a month with by their death bed where we both mutually understood that they were gonna die soon. In other words, we both knew she was a goner, and spending time with her taught me a ton.
It was from her that I derived my meaning of life, meaningful connections with other human beings (from a previous Ofek’s Life Section). She knew she was going to die, yet she was still happy. She was happy because she knew how much I cared for her, and she knew that as long as I cared for her, her life had meaning. She did not care about dying, except for that she would get to spend less time with me.