The world of Therapeutic Touch (TT) and Holistic Nursing has lost one of its most enthusiastic practitioners and greatest proponents. Nancy Sohlberg died on April 28th at Westminster Suncoast Health Center in St Petersburg, FL at the age of 92. Her last words were said urgently, “I have to go. I have to go right now. I have to go help people,” then saying “Mother Mary” she quietly took her last breath.
And help people she did. Learning Therapeutic Touch in her late 60s, Nancy studied TT bi-weekly for over 25 years with Shirley Spear Begley in one of the first on-going TT Mentorship Programs, obtaining her international Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner certification. She also became board certified in Holistic Nursing and studied Guided Imagery extensively stating that learning these methods were very significant in her work with others.
Among her many recognitions, Nancy was awarded the Empath Health/Suncoast Hospice Volunteer of the Year award for decades of service as an Eleventh Hour Volunteer where she provided her unique brand of caring, TT and Guided Imagery to patients during the dying process. She offered TT for people in bereavement programs and for those dealing with AIDS as well as in a public forum following 9/11. Among other offerings, she also lectured annually on TT in a course at the University of Tampa.
A member of ASPEC, the Association for Senior Professionals at Eckerd College, she was a Discussant Colleague in various courses. One she especially enjoyed was titled “Quest for Meaning.” Nancy tutored reading for young girls through the United Way, and headed up the Altar Guild at St. Matthew’s Episcopalian church. She also practiced Tai Chi late into her years.
Those who knew Nancy will miss her and her witty sense of humor and spontaneous quoting of poetry appropriate to most any situation. She was also a Thespian, acting for years in many area productions. One has to wonder if with Nancy’s urgent last words, she isn’t already carrying on many of these compassionate activities in her new residence.