For reasons none of us can entirely explain, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of physical closeness with a loved one. A simple embrace, embodying a love we can’t quite fully express, can give a person the strength to overcome any misfortune or tragedy.
Here are 20 photographs which prove this beyond doubt — and will make your heart skip a beat.
© Danny Moloshok / Reuters
American journalist Euna Lee embraces her husband and daughter after being held under arrest for two months in North Korea.
© HANDOUT / Reuters
A Chilean miner hugs his wife after being trapped for 68 days underground.
© Nicky Loh / Reuters
Medical workers wander the streets of a decimated town following an earthquake in Hanwang, China.
© Mike Segar / Reuters
A man holds his son close on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
© Beawiharta / Reuters
A young girl cuddles her cat, saved from the ruins of her home after an earthquake in Indonesia.
© Shaun Best / Reuters
Kelly Johnston, wife of a fallen officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, embraces two officers during her husband’s funeral.
© U.S. Air Force / Reuters
A member of a search and rescue group comforts a woman after a hurricane tore through her hometown.
© Rick Wilking / Reuters
A man hugs his dog after it was saved from a house fire.
© Jason Lee / Reuters
Christina Ripp and Loraine Gonzales of the U.S. Paralympic basketball team celebrate after winning their wheelchair basketball gold medal game against Germany.
© David J. Phillip / Reuters
A man and a woman embrace on the roof after Hurricane Katrina hits St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
© Andrew Winning / Reuters
Two boys at the funeral of a soldier who died in Afghanistan.
© Mariana Bazo / Reuters
A builder embraces his sister after surviving a building collapse in Lima, Peru.
© Jaime Saldarriaga / Reuters
Sigifredo López, a lawyer and politician, runs to meet his son after escaping captivity in Colombia. He had been held for seven years.
A polar bear hugs a worker in a zoo.
© KPPA / Reuters
A South Korean man embraces his brother who lives in North Korea. They haven’t seen each other since the Korean War.
These two dogs, Kalu and Kiru, who had no owners, were due to be put down. This hug between them saved their lives — someone put it on Facebook, and within hours a family had volunteered to take them in.
© Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
A basketball player embraces his coach during a match.
© Ellen Ozier / Reuters
A soldier embraces her dog after returning from service in Iraq.
Natalya Kozak, who lives in New Jersey, embraces her long-lost sister Melaniya Babenko. They were separated from each other by the Second World War seventy years ago.