featured image

Reminiscing on how her father used to transfer her headaches to himself, Lilia Grundy recognizes we are all called to offer a healing touch. 

The Transferable Headache 

When I was a young girl, I was plagued with frequent headaches. I remember having the pain, but even more so, I remember my father coming to my rescue. He would take my chin into his hands and press his forehead to mine. He said he wanted to transfer the headache to himself so that he could take my pain away.  

In order to fully capture my headache, we had to close our eyes and focus. I still recall the feeling of trusting “Daddy” and really believing that I could “send him” my headache. And in that moment, the throbbing did seem to dissipate. 


Take On Me 

I’ll never forget that feeling of trusting so fully, yet recognizing that my father was willing to take on my pain. Like the title from one of my favorite melodies in the song, Take on Me by A-ha, I was awestruck with how my parents were always inclined to literally ‘take on” my hurts. 

Now, as a mother myself, I understand the power of loving so much: we are able to feel the pain and ready to take on anything that threatens our children. 

I recently attended a women’s retreat, and one mother began to breakdown as she was describing the troubles her son was encountering. You could “see” his aching through her. She took on his pain. 

Dr. Tim Gray of the Augustine Institute beautifully summarizes this sacrificial love in the daily reflection series at Formed.org. He shares that in the Gospel story of “The Cleansing of the Leper,” Jesus ironically becomes the outcast because He does in fact heal the leper, but then it became “impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places” (Mark 1:45). Jesus took the leper’s pain onto Himself.  

Jesus of course goes on to take on the biggest sacrifice ever known to man: to give His own life for ours, to “lay down my life for the sheep” as He says (John 10:15).  

I love to honor Jesus’ sacrifice by attending daily Mass and trying to surrender to daily challenges so I can take on His will.  


Click to tweet:
Now, as a mother myself, I understand the power of loving so much: we are able to feel the pain and ready to take on anything that threatens our children. #CatholicMom




Offering a Healing Touch 

As I reflect on how blessed I’ve been to be surrounded by family and friends who were willing to offer healing when I most needed it, I recognize that I’m being called to serve as a sacrificial role model in everything I do.  

How can I offer healing at work? At home? In my parish or through the boards and ministries I serve?  

And as my daughters face their struggles (and headaches), I remember those days when my father put his head to mine, and I am humbled to offer my own healing touch. 

It’s a powerful image … how Jesus takes our place, and he takes upon us our curses and our problems so that we can have his blessings and his freedom and his father in heaven to call father. (FORMED Daily Reflections, (3:31-3:42). 



Copyright 2024 Lilia Grundy
Images: Canva