Today I ran into a neighbor at the oncologist. My husband has cancer and as we sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, I noticed my neighbor across the way. I was surprised, as one would be, meeting someone you know in such a setting. I immediately went to her and put my hand on her shoulder and then on her bare arm. What is it about touch that is so often comforting? Warmth and meeting of skin to skin: the tangible knowledge that you are not alone. That someone is there with you.
In touching her, I was telling her that she wasn’t just my neighbor but that we were on a journey together. We are here. Now. Together.
Something passes between two people when they touch. It can be something painful, something that causes injury. Or can be something healing. A bond sometimes. Sometimes a spark. A little bit of energy that goes from one person to the next. Through our skin. We are connected; touching reinforces that.