ONE LAST KISS
It has been three and a half years since my husband Peter suddenly died. The thing I miss most about my loss, is not being able to kiss him good morning, kiss him hello when he walked in the door, and most of all, not being able to kiss him goodnight. Peter and I were big in the kissing department. We loved the touch of each other’s lips and kissing for us was a way of communicating our love without saying a word. When you use the expression “sealed with a kiss,” that was what we did all day long. BTW, the acronym of this phrase, SWAK, was written on the envelopes of servicemen to their loved ones during World War I and World War II. In medieval times, contracts were not considered legal until the signers included an X which represented Saint Andrew and they would kiss the X to prove their sincerity.
When I researched kissing I found that kissing behavior is not unique to humans. Primates such as Bonobo apes are known for kissing each other. A little-known fact is that these monkeys love to French kiss too! I would include a link, but it was a bit gross so just use your imagination please. We know that our pet dogs and cats frequently nuzzle each other. It is thought that the first kiss on the mouth was given by a mother to feed her baby but the love-type kiss dates back to 1500 BC. There is actually a scientific study of kissing called philematology derived from the Greek “philos” meaning earthly love. Philematologists aren’t really sure why humans started to lock lips, but they believe that is does come from primate mothers feeding toothless babies.
Here are some fun facts about kissing:
I yearn for the feel-good part of kissing. I often tear up when I see a couple kissing and feel the intensity of my sadness swoop over me and into my devastated heart. Kissing raises one’s oxytocin and decreases one’s cortisol stress levels creating a very pleasurable effect. Kissing friends or family on the cheek, doesn’t have the same effect or raise any levels for me. The thought of kissing someone new is quite a dilemma for widows. We are so used to the soft intimacy of kissing our partners that allowing a new person to kiss us evokes fear, trepidation, and a stomach tied up in knots! I am hopeful that one day I will find someone to lock lips with, but for now, I will just remember the soft touch of Peter’s lips against mine and that will have to do for a while.
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