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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Touching Grace: Being Enough

Mar 01, 2024 12:00AM ● By Erica Hodgson

Photo by KoolShooters for

I have the honor of witnessing the lives of people as they endure and transform through hospice. I touch Grace every day through every person I am so humbled to work with as a massage therapist.

I sat in a chair at my patient’s feet. I could work on someone who spent their life making millions of dollars, or someone who is penniless wishing they had millions of dollars, and in the end, feet are feet. Incontinence is incontinence. Blood is blood. The playing field is leveled near the end of life and things that came before just don’t matter any longer.

My patient sat in his Broda chair under a blanket. One tooth was left in his mouth. The room smelled faintly of urine. As I massaged his swollen legs and numb feet, he looked at me with his one good eye and told me with pride that a man feels like a man when he has a wallet in his pocket and has just gone to the bank. He liked to show gratitude to those that help him by giving them a tip.

He will never leave this facility, and he still holds hope that he will walk out one day, even though he hasn’t used his legs in over a year. I honor that for him and dream with him. I looked him in his good eye and said, “Just knowing you is enough.”

He went silent. A single tear fell from the corner of his eye. The words hit him in his essence, his truth. He took his hand that he was able to move and raised it, wiped the tear with the back of his hand, and we hung onto the feeling that came from those words.

Tears had streamed down my face from this simple moment of touching someone’s heart. He smiled a gentle smile and quietly thanked me. I wiped my tears and continued on, holding onto the humanity.

Just being enough. No money. No thing. No doing. Just being.

Erica Hodgson is a licensed massage therapist, coach and energy worker in Brookfield, Wisconsin. She wakes every day in awe of the human body, mind and spirit, and has been studying the subtle ins and outs for 15 years. She connects with clients through touch, visualization, reading, writing and speaking. She’s an avid tea drinker, reader and contemplator, and can be reached at 262-227-6548 or at