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The Power of Touch

It was a hard day, but then you touched me.

I know now that I was saying goodbye to a friend, and having a hard time doing it. My inability was much more about me than her – I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and I worried that I would be haunted by that. What if something happened when I wasn’t there and I had passed up that opportunity? In any case, I didn’t want to do it.

But I found strength when you touched me.

My goal is not to come across creepy or stalkerish (and no – that’s not a real word). It’s emotionally exhausting moments like this when we bravely cast aside caution and decide that we need to say things to people… things that we might otherwise hold back or skip over… because we might come across crazy. Consider the caution cast aside. I’m risking crazy.

Thank you for touching me.

I’ve been googling “the power of touch,” trying to understand why that touch had so much impact and has stuck with me. The last few weeks have been particularly rough for me. I hold a position that is a blessing and more fulfilling than I could have imagined, but can be isolating. I have children who I am madly in love with, but no life partner to share the joy or pains of each day. There was the tragedy of the homicide a few weeks ago, my concern about its impact on staff, and incredible piles of work that I need to get through. When I saw my friend who I deeply love and realized that my world was being irreversibly and monumentally changed, all I could think was, “I did not prepare for this.” It was too much.

And then you touched me.

The power of touch is proving to be an interesting search and study. Psychology Today says touch is our first sense. They talk about regaining fluency in our first language. Touch is our first language. Our ability to communicate through touch is profound. Touch communicates love, joy, sympathy, and so much more. When you touched me, it pulled me back from an edge.

I felt badly later. I couldn’t put into words how much your touch impacted me; how perfectly timed it was. I know I said thank you (a few times, I think) but those words don’t express it. I think I even tried to explain it, likely awkwardly, but still felt dissatisfied with my expression.

Now I think… I hope… you knew. That in that same moment, you knew. When you touched me, I touched you back. Probably, it would be better described as clutching or grabbing on or clinging to you for dear life. In the moment, it was just a touch back, but if touch is our first language and can communicate, I hope that you felt a surge of gratitude pouring out of me, like waves crashing on a shoreline.

Dear friend, thank you, for sharing the power of your touch with me.


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