Hold Me

A Hospice Worker Processes her Experience Through Touch Drawing 

by Shemaya Nancy Blauer

As a hospice volunteer I often sat bedside and entered into an intimacy and being that words could not begin to describe. Each person’s journey was unique, and my task was to enter their world and be a companion, allowing each moment to unfold into the next. This particular evening I was asked to go to a patient’s room, as she was requesting to be held. Although I had connected with her on previous visits, I knew that I needed to walk into her room and not know her and find her.  Her desperation pierced my heart as she pleaded over and over again, “hold me, please, hold me.”  I could only understand a few of her words. I followed her as she rose in despair, cried out, and wept. I felt my own tears wet my face as I entered a space somewhere in between my own body and hers. This continued for a while. The intensity would grow and then it would release until it began again. When I got home I was filled with the experience and began to draw.

Touch Drawing offered me a way to continue processing this profound experience and bring it into a deeper place. I was able to remain intimate with myself and with the experience, while at the same time gently moving back into my own body.  As I have returned to being with these drawings, I have been able to reconnect to the evening and they have also become well known friends.  Just as there was no guide for the journey that evening, Touch Drawing allowed the same space, to join with myself and be in the moment of unfolding as the images appeared.

The following pictures appeared and these words were written several months later.

See the full series of drawings below.