Nancy Sharp, author of Both Sides Now, talked to Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. The day Sharp gave birth to twins, she learned that her husband’s cancer had returned in full force. Holding both life and death in the same moment became the foundation of her birth. What she learned is that navigating the grayness of life requires the ability to hold dualities. Life and death, joy and sorrow, black and white. Ultimately, Sharp’s husband died of a brain tumor. She re-started from scratch, creating a new life with her twins in Colorado.
Transforming her life didn’t happen in a linear way because “nothing about healing is linear.” She says, “I couldn’t see anymore.” She felt weighed down, stigmatized and realized she needed a new way to see in order to move forward. By “looking towards the mountains,” she saw a place she could trust. Sharp says she wanted to feel small again. Next, she committed to movement and never looked back.
“Figure out what it is that helps you move forward in life,” she says. Dr. Horsley says movement can be very small to start. Today, she says she continues to look and move forward, which is becoming easier and easier especially with twins to look after. However, Sharp is adamant that everyone in their grief needs to keep their head up. In her book, readers will find someone they can relate to, someone who has been in their shoes (or close to it) and who has come out the other side.
Finding compassion, empathy and shared stories is critical in grief, and you can certainly find that relief in books. Sharp’s book has been a great help to many in the grieving process and is highly recommended by the Open to Hope Foundation.