Touch is the first sense our body perceives, and the last that leaves us. Touch alone is therapeutic, with both physiological and psychological benefits. It activates our cellular/muscle memory. By sitting in a grandmother’s lap, and being embraced by her arms, we mimic this human bonding experience.

As I thought about this important aspect of the grandmothers’ design, the phrase, “The fierce love of a mother,” came to mind. I was instantly taken back to a day when the relationship of caregiving, my mother, and touch, had reversed our roles.

We knew my mom was actively and shockingly in the process of dying. What surprised me when I first touched her was how the warmth had already left her extremities. I instinctively recoiled when I touched her and felt that coldness for the first time. I was ashamed at this natural reaction; and then immediately, and consciously, held on to her in order to help her in her passing.

At a certain point during that day, I realized there was nothing more I could do for my mom. She was only 64, but this was to be the day of her death. My mom and dad had loved each other for almost five decades. Although there was nothing else I could do for her, there was something more I could do for my dad (and I suppose help her, too, in saying good-bye to her love). I used reflected heat from my own body to encompass and cradle her hand in order to bring warmth to it. For hours, we sat, both of my hands holding her hand – allowing it to absorb my body heat in order to rewarm. I felt that after she passed, and I asked others to leave the room, my dad deserved a warm hand to say “good-bye” to privately.

The sanctuary of a hug; that instinctual, protective, comfort and sacred space created through touch. It had to be, by design, one of the grandmothers’ offerings to help with the healing.

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#FamiliesBelongTogether #LoveThyNeighor (NoExceptions) #Peace #StandWithImmigrants #LovingKindness #LoveKnowsNoBorders #AJustWorld4All #GrandmotherHealingDolls #PeaceLoveUnderstanding

Share your thoughts in meaningful dialogue –

(Please do not comment here, instead use these posts as opportunities for respectful communication directly with someone you know. Here’s an idea…how about talking with someone who disagrees with you on this or other issues?)

Name three benefits of the sense of touch.

Who do you know who could use warmth and support?

Please share about a time when you felt a fierce and protective love.

When asylum-seeking parents and children were separated and put in detention centers; compassionate, creative action was needed & Grandmother Healing Dolls was born. Follow the journey of their creation and the 3000 mile trip to three detention centers, courthouses, and more on this Thrive Global series.