On this episode of Book Journeys (link to interview transcription), Vice President for The Author Incubator, Jenn McRobbie, interviews Shari O’Loughlin, author of Life from the Ashes: Finding Signs of Hope After the Loss of Your Child.
For Shari, it all began around four and a half years ago, when her son, Connor, was killed in an airplane crash, along with his friend and his friend’s father, who was the pilot, as it was taking off from Albuquerque. The unexpected news turned Shari’s life upside down, and she then spent the next few years in the process of grieving for her son and discovering what she needed to do and be in order to keep on going, despite the tragic loss. Shari admits that she is still grieving, up until now, and that the loss still hits her every now and then, particularly when she starts a new stage of the grieving and recovery process, and she is thankful for all of the support she receives from such groups as Compassionate Friends.
Shari had actually lost a sister earlier in her life, and the way that was handled was essentially to ignore the loss. Although she was, understandably, reluctant to write a book stemming from the loss of Connor, she did experience the difference in the ways the loss of her sister was handled, compared to the loss of her son. Shari also had another intention, for she wanted to give others who were in similar straits as she was the kind of advice and support that she wished she had after the death of Connor, and these were some of what drove her to write Life from the Ashes.
Shari admits that she was glad for Angela’s “Three Days to Done” program, as the latter entailed intensively writing out a book over a period of three days – four, in Shari’s case, as she was a first-time author – remarking that she would likely have not done so had she needed to do such everyday things as attending the meetings and doing household chores. Not surprisingly, the hardest parts for her to review and edit were the parts of the book pertaining to Connor’s death and its immediate aftermath, and she left these parts for another person to review and edit.
Shari noted that she has received a lot of positive reviews, both for her book and for her situation, and not just from parents who have suffered a similar loss as she had suffered, but who have suffered loss of other sorts, saying that the book helped them heal. She also observed that those who have suffered the loss of a loved one heal faster when they have experienced signs attributed to those they lost.. Where the journey through grief is concerned, Shari remarks that pain is part of the process that cannot be run away from and needs to be experienced as part of the healing process, and to those who are in grief Shari posits the question of what one wants to become when one can’t change one’s situation.
(Transcript) Shari O’Loughlin – Book Journeys Author Interview – December 8, 2016
DOWNLOAD the PDF: Book Journeys Author Interview – Shari O’Loughlin – Dec. 8, 2016