12 Aug Hands and Reflection
These hands belong to a close friend, who lives in a care home. He often struggles with confusion. His life was impacted by a sudden event. Surgery and a spell in hospital followed. Both the original event and its treatment were traumatic. Some months later, a sudden improvement in his condition gave him more awareness of what had happened to him. This ‘insight’ in itself, a greater realisation of the radical changes in his life, might be described as another layer of trauma.
During the Corona virus pandemic, he has been stoical, and is cared for brilliantly. However, he has been deprived of regular visits from friends and family. These visits usually provide hugs, support, a sense of orientation, identity, and a feeling of being loved. A phone call for someone with this kind of impairment just doesn’t communicate well. Now visits are possible again, but under very strict protocols. I am present, yet at 2 metres distance, for a short time, outside. I wear a mask, that doesn’t reassure like a smile. I watch the hands that I can’t hold, notice the finger-nails I can’t clip, and feel for those who are denied the proximity of loving touch.