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how to love from afar

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

I remember when I was an annoying little bean, and my sister and I would play

"Opposite Day."

If I say I'm not hungry, it means I will eat all of the Oreos. If I say I like you shorts, it means I think they are quite Blah. If I say I am going to sleep, it means I will stay up all night dancing in my blue tutu - its Opposite Day!

I love you. So that means I hug you. I cook for you, I snuggle you, I kiss your warm cheek, I hold the door for you, look into your warm eyes and rest my head on your shoulder, hold your hand, hold the small of your back as your walk across the street, dance with you, cry with you, I rub your feet, take car rides with you and share from the same plate, share slow sips from the same hot cup of tea with extra honey.

But, its Opposite Day.

I love you. So today that means I air hug you. I cook for you and leave it on your doorstep. I snuggle you with music, and kindness in my voice when I hear you're scared. I blow your warm cheek a kiss, and hold the door for you, with gloves and a prayer. I look into your warm eyes over video conference and imagine I am resting my head on your shoulders that have held so much for me. I hold my own hand, imagining it is yours, I ask you to be gentle with yourself and walk firmly across every street, I dance in my kitchen remembering what it was like to boogie unbridled and free, I cry as I write this, and with you over the phone knowing that touching you may not be possible for a long while. I rub my own feet knowing that they must be grounded and callused for this marathon of care and tenderhearted bravery before us all. I take car rides to the beach and ask the ocean to protect you. I take each bite and slow sip more gently and grace, sharing it with you in my heart's mind.

I love you so I do things differently, for now.

Loving from a far is not something that comes naturally to me, for so many. But it is saving lives so how do we both hold the grief of this temporary change, and also lean into how we can be here for each other, from a distance, for now.

Here are a few ideas:

Write letters

Read a book with someone and talk about it

Look at the same moon together and talk about her beauty

Take a bath together over the phone (safely of course)

Cook dinner together


Create art together and send it to each other

Care packages


Sit in silence together




Dance together over FaceTime

Sharing songs

Sharing photos

Photos of beautiful memories

Thank you for being you notes

I am grateful for you because notes

What we will do together when we can be together notes

Sharing poetry and inspirational quotes

Write poetry together

Ask those questions you have never asked

Record a family conversation

Capture family history from living relatives

Tell the people you love that you love them, tell them.

Tenderness, my loves.

Tenderness, my loves.

Opposite day is hard, but it's not forever.

I love you so I say, let us love each other from a distance, for now, so we can love each other up close for evermore.

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