The hands of Bjorn

The hands of Bjorn

by Jos' mother, Mumsie

In the weeks and months after the death of my beloved son Jos, I felt as though I were in a dark pit without sunshine. Family tried to be supportive but were far away and busy with their own lives. We were blessed to have friends who kept us going from day to day. Nevertheless, it was difficult to find meaning in life. My previous activities held little interest.

We organized Jos' belongings in what had been his old room. His clothes went into the closet and dresser. His books fit in the bookcase, and his pictures went on the wall. His precious knitting projects were in baskets on the floor. However, his massage table was something else. It was large and didn't quite fit anywhere. This was not the "portable massage table" described on this site by Jano Cabrera. Rather, it was a very good professional massage table with carrying bag. Massage had been yet another hobby of Jos. It was a great way to make people feel better and make a lot of new friends. Jos was, of course, self-taught. He had a number of books, and felt fully competent to give Swedish massages. One of the recipients of his massages said he told her she was receiving a massage from "the hands of Bjorn"

So, here I was with a massage table which had been very special to Jos. I had the option of storing it in the garage, or perhaps finding a worthy recipient to give it to. However, in the week following Jos' death, one of my friends had taken me upstairs and given me a gentle massage. It had given me some measure of comfort. I got the idea that perhaps I could take a massage class just to see how it went. Given my advanced age and the fact that I myself had only received two or three massages in my life, this was a radical idea. After a few classes I found I enjoyed the concept of helping people through gentle touch. After hundreds of hours of courses, I became a certified massage therapist. I only wanted to work with people in emotional or physical trauma and give massages as a volunteer.

For the past nine years I have volunteered with a variety of organizations including the Veteran's Administration Hospital, hospice groups, Support Network for Battered Women, and the local Ronald McDonald House (working with children who have serious medical issues, also their parents). I feel that "the hands of Bjorn" are with me every time, I give a healing massage. My life has purpose and meaning, and I am honoring my son.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

to mother's prayer to her lost son