How to Hug an Angel

Anna Ortiz Spencer
2 min readAug 28, 2022


A Mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go. -Author Unknown

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to see my Mom in my dreams. This happened the night she died and it has happened a handful of times since. Often times I see her in family settings, with us (her children) and almost always in her home. This time was different.

We were gathering for a big celebration…the whole family…not just us kids but also the grandchildren, her siblings, Dad’s family and friends as well. Whatever the event, it was cause for great joy! Everyone was excited and I was waiting for my sister so we could get things started. As usual, we found ourselves in the kitchen preparing food. There was much laughter and an easiness to the day. It was exceptionally sunny outside which was ideal because the occasion was so huge that we were preparing to have people indoors and out.

As the event wound down, we were enjoying the mild temperatures outside. In between storytelling and laughter, I saw my Mom. She was right there in the mix. I was both surprised to see her and felt an assurance that she should definitely be there with us. I went to sit next to her. The afternoon carried on and soon everyone was picking up glasses and plates…cleaning up to mark the end of this happy occasion.

I turned to her and asked her for a hug. Almost as if she was aware of the circumstances, she said, “I’m not sure if I’m allowed to hug…you know….” It was as if she knew she was no longer with us and wondered if Heaven had a rule about angels hugging the living. I smile thinking about this because my Mom (like myself) is a rule FOLLOWER. She didn’t want to make a mistake or do anything that would cause trouble. I said, “I think we should do it anyway.” This makes me laugh out loud because I (like my Mom) am also a little bit of a rule BREAKER. I quickly grabbed her and hugged her tightly.

I’m sharing this because I could actually feel the hug. It was her hug…all of the things that I remember but there were differences, too. She seemed smaller than I remember. Frail, too. It was like hugging my grandmothers. I was immediately concerned about hugging her too tightly, but that fear quickly subsided. I was hugging my Mom! I was hugging an angel and I wasn’t about to let go!

All good things come to an end, and unfortunately, so did that hug. She looked at me with a smirk…almost as if to say that we got away with something special.

Yes, Mom. We certainly did.

Empty Chairs, Everywhere is a personal grief diary as I process the loss of my Mother to COVID-19.



Anna Ortiz Spencer

Freelance Reporter. Web designer. Social media consultant. Writer at