#79: The Need for Touch

Last summer on a cross-country flight, I watched the movie, Five Feet Apart. Two young people with cystic fibrosis meet and fall in love during a hospital stay. “CF patients are strictly kept six feet apart to reduce the risk of cross-infection, as contracting bacterial infections from other CF patients can be dangerous – even life-threatening.” As I cried throughout the movie, my heart literally broke at the thought of not being able to touch someone you loved. I could never have imagined that less than a year later I would be told, along with all America, to keep six feet away from everyone. (Disclaimer: Please don’t take this reference to the movie as a recommendation since some of the content goes against biblical views. I highlight the movie to show how affected I was by the thought of not being able to touch people.)

Earlier this year as I tentatively entered a room for an emotionally tense meeting, I was offered a hug. The simple gesture immediately began distilling the tension in me. At the conclusion of the long but successful meeting, hugs were once again shared all around confirming the love between all the participants in a way that words are inadequate to convey.

I could go on with more examples of how touch has been invaluable in my life and the significance of a hug. Can you think of occasions in your own life where touch has communicated more than mere words ever could?

While in quarantine, three people at my relatively small church have lost their fathers. I have offered no hugs of comfort. A lady in Florida lost her 39-year-old husband to COVID-19 and was not able to say goodbye. She was not even allowed in the hospital. The author of a book that I own and love died in New York from COVID-19 a week ago. His wife and son stood six feet apart at the funeral. My heart broke.

I am concerned about the coronavirus, but I am also concerned about the lack of touch. I found this article from 2018 titled Why Physical Touch Matters for Your Well-Being interesting. Looking forward to the time when people once again engage in the priceless act of touching.

6 comments

  1. Dropping my mom off at the emergency room, unable to even hold her hand as she filled out paperwork, waited to be seen, etc. . . walking back to my car, feeling like I was floating away and walking through cement simultaneously . . . That’s been the only thing that has been truly difficult about this pandemic. Everything else feels like a minor annoyance compared to that sixty second walk back to my car at the emergency room.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting you mentioned that movie, as that was also the movie in the back of my mind since this started. Yes, it is very unsettling not to be able to touch a dear one… I went to Jerod’s funeral and was able to hug Jenny & her girls, Leila, Sally & Thelma. This time… Probably I cannot go give a hug to Becky, and my heart breaks for them. We live such strange times… can’t help, but wonder how “normal” would look like.
    I came across these verses today:
    Isaiah 43: 18-19 “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
    Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
    I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I meant Jerod’s Dad Funeral! When you write comments past midnight! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤪 Lol Another moment where I really felt the sting of social distance, was to take my Dad to a CT scan on Friday, see my Mom and not be able to give them a hug. We drove in separate cars there… on the door of the Medical Office was a sign saying that only patients go inside and attending visitors should wait outside/in their cars. Everyone was wearing a mask 😞😞

      Liked by 1 person

      • Knowing that someone can carry it with mild or no symptoms, I think it is the right choice for now… I would want to protect you and them when we meet, in case I might have it. You also need to protect yourself, so you don’t take it to your kids & husband, and me, the same. It’s a very unusual situation. And for me, is even harder as I’m a very touchy feely person. As you well know it! 😅🤪😂😂😂

        Like

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