An ode to Olaf. I didn’t know where he lived, if he had siblings, or even his last name. But Olaf was my personal Viking. He did battle with the foot injury I got marathon training, slayed the sciatica that reared its head when I sat too long at my desk, and took out the tension in my traps from tapping on a keyboard all day. Without my monthly massage with Olaf I was a ball of stress and a far less centered person.
This winter Olaf passed away from lung cancer, two months after being diagnosed. He was 47. I was heartbroken. Someone lost a son, a brother, a friend, a lover. I lost a member of my village. Olaf was so much more than a massage therapist; he was a healer. Selfless, intuitive, nonjudgmental. Without knowing it, he saw me through career transitions, depression, and countless days of self-doubt. Although I thanked him profusely after each session and referred him to friends and readers, I wish I had told him just how special he was—and how irreplaceable.
I’m fortunate to have other healers in my village, people who keep me happy, grounded, and grateful. Family physician Jamie Lyn Reinschmidt. Holistic therapist Laura Shaw Sanden. Herbalist Lise Wolff. Psychic Christine Schroeder. My boss. My best girls. My family. My husband. My dog. But I haven’t found another Olaf, and I don’t expect I will. That’s how the universe works. He appeared when I needed him most and quietly slipped out the back door when his work was done. Wherever David Olaf Brown is now, I know he is being treated like a king.
Who is in your village? Tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thank them every chance you get.