It’s not a cemetery with physical vestiges beneath the ground, but, more conspicuously, a room filled with hands. The room is in a house on Cape Cod, situated in a picturesque West Falmouth neighborhood.
The hands are not grotesque. Rather, they are meaningful symbols representative of the principles and practices of Heather Massey, a home funeral guide and educator. In fact, the name of her education and consulting services, “In Loving Hands,” sums up the basis of her hands-on ministrations – lovingly guiding families who want to learn about caring for their own life companions upon death.
A massage table that’s the central feature of her training room is used for demonstrations, but has also been occupied by individuals for whom she provides integrative massage therapy. Her bodywork practice incorporates various physical approaches coupled with subtle energy elements and verbal components.
The diverse sorts of hands in this room are captivating, compelling curious exploration. They decorate the environs in all shapes and sizes, lining the walls on bookshelves and colorfully accenting the windowsill. A large one that’s configured as an abbreviated chair even implores an onlooker to come and have a seat. Through the years, the collection of hands has grown, thanks in part to contributions of others who know about it.
Festooning the wall are varieties accented with a heart in the open palm of each hand. Different cultures assign their own meaning to the combination. In Shaker tradition, as a nod to its founder, it represents the ideology of a simple life of hard work and spirituality, putting one’s hands to work and hearts to God. The Amish have a similar interpretation, regarding it also as a symbol of welcoming and friendship. Among others, it overtly implies healing by means of caring hands.
The most inclusive interpretation may simply be the symbolism of an open hand as a signal that “I am here for you.” Those simple words encapsulate the attitude motivating the physical and educational provisions of Heather's “In Loving Hands” focus, reflecting “service with love and integrity.”
Heather Massey contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-457-1612