Monday, February 7, 2011

The Profound Power of Touch

Last night I slept alone for the first time since I have been diagnosed. I have either slept at Marc's or at my parents- refusing to return home to my apartment. Perhaps I didn't want to taint my home with Cancer, or maybe I was scared to sleep alone because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up.

Last night I felt strong- and I felt ready.

As I woke up this morning, my cousin Polly in Israel continued to sleep. Polly never woke up.

Polly died this morning after a year and a half fight against Lung Cancer  Polly never smoked a day in her life. My dad called with the news, and I was overwhelmed with grief.

This disease is so just so mean.

Polly was in her late sixties, vivacious, hilarious, and perhaps the most energetic person I have ever met. She was borderline hyperactive, always with her hands in some project, moving around quickly, hoping you would catch up.

I visited Polly every year in the Negev. Her and her husband Bub were my home away from home. They took me in, fed me, bathed me, and always managed to provide me with the best sleep of the year.

Perhaps it makes a lot of sense that Polly passed away in her home, and in her sleep, peacefully surrounded by her husband, children, and grandchildren.

All I wanted to do this morning was hug my family in Israel-touch their faces, and tell them that I love them.  I wanted to hold their hands and sit quietly mourning the loss of such a tremendous spirit.

I left my house today with a heavy heart.

I headed to the hospital for another round of blood work. As I patiently waited in the reception area, I looked up and saw an old and dear childhood friend with her parents. She had reached out to me a few days ago letting me know that her mother was fighting advanced Kidney Cancer.  There they were looking to check in, fighting the emotions of anticipation, and hoping to get past a number of big hurdles.

I ran over to them, and embraced my friend speaking only a few words of which I don't really remember. I then turned to her mother, and we held each other, kissed each other, and cried.

There was nothing to say.

All we needed was to touch- and so we touched.

The power of touch is profound and perhaps more important than words.

I have been in deep thought today about how to celebrate Polly's life, and how to support my childhood friend.  I have not yet figured this out, but hope to have some perspective on this in the coming days.

In the meantime, I am going to hug my family and friends, touch their faces, hold their hands, and remind them how much I love them.

1 comment:

  1. i am living this now. the human touch is so healing and powerful. My friend's Aunt and my coworkers grandmother both very young just passed. They too had lung cancer. everyday a new emotion surfaces, so raw, so deep, and everyday I try to figure it out. thank you for being my angel!