Deep Loss

I’d like to officially introduce you to someone. The picture to the left is my dad, Ed Putnam, who died this past Tuesday morning, August 12. He died at home (in the house he built) with his family around him. Some of you know about my dad’s struggle with kidney cancer–a struggle which began in January of this year. It’s been a tumultuous ride these past 7 months, and I find it hard to contain or even encapsulate the events of this year.

I will say, though, that my relationship with my father deepened during this time, and that my healing work kept me afloat in ways I am just starting to grasp. One dear client who knew of my struggles asked me during a session, “How do you care for other people and hear other people’s problems when you have such big stuff going on in your own life?” It was such a good question. I surprised myself when I heard myself replying, “I find it very grounding and centering to give bodywork. I can tune into the relaxed breath of my clients and the sacred space I have created for healing.” I also heard myself say something about the universal nature of suffering–that I can connect to the suffering of others (even small moments of suffering or discontent) while holding my own sadness about my father because it all comes from the same source. Suffering is suffering. Grief is grief. Loss is loss. The specific circumstances and degrees of intensity may differ, but I have a hard time ranking or categorizing these things. Until my client asked me her question, I hadn’t realized that I truly felt this way.

So while I may be taking some time off right now to attend to my sadness and that of my family (I’ll be back giving sessions again during the week of August 25), please know that when you come to see me it’s okay to mention my loss (I know, it’s hard to know what to say when someone has lost a loved one) and it’s okay to focus on YOU during your session. Prior to each session I give, I create a safe space for you to relax, find relief, and heal. Rest assured that I will find my own time for my own healing (Olympus Spa here I come!). This time is for you and I am honored to witness whatever it is that you bring to your sessions.

I also want to mention that my posts here may be few and far between or very frequent with many philosophical musings about the nature of life and death, of healing and illness, and of finding inner peace. Right now I am reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s No Death, No Fear, and I imagine many of his words will make their way to this blog as well.

peace and healing,


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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