This evening I went to a local AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) meeting. It is nice to get together face to face with other therapists, and talk about what is going on in our practices. We had a special guest this evening come in and talk to us about Compassionate Touch. Donna Schiller works with people in hospice four days a week. She is a wonderful person to concentrate her work in this area of the massage profession. I've worked with only a couple of hospice cases, and it was difficult for me when the person would pass. I wouldn't know how to deal with it, to separate myself, to keep myself grounded if I knew that each person I touched that day was facing death.
There was one client of mine that had accepted me into her home. She and her husband didn't want to believe that she was dying. Her niece had actually found me and hired me to work on her aunt. She had warned me that they didn't know how much time was left in this woman's life. It could have been hours, days, or weeks, but she had been brought home to die with her family. She paid for 2 half hour sessions. When I went to her home the first time, this woman talked about wanting to get out of bed, and trying to walk. Her husband was very positive in thinking that she would be walking soon, and healthy again. The second time, the couple let me know how my work comforted her so much. She was able to sleep for a couple of hours blissfully shortly after I had left. She told me that she was looking forward to me coming back again as soon as I had left the first time. I saw her only twice before she passed, but that was enough time for me to be touched by this couple's life. I'm glad that I was there for her, to bring comforting words, and comforting touch to her in her last days.It took me a few days to come to terms with this situation. I don't know how Donna does it, but I am glad that she does.