Jami Nicole Sharp
March 11, 1976 – May 3, 2019
On Friday, May 3, a treasure was stolen from our world. Jami Sharp Higgins—our wife, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, and friend—died unexpectedly in her home due to complications from epilepsy.
So many are left having to figure out the impossibility of a world without Jami: husband Michael Higgins; mother Peggy Sharp; father Don (Pat) Sharp; sisters Katie (Jason) Sharp and Stacey (Jarrod) Patterson; brother Phillip (Lisa) Sharp; many beloved aunts and uncles who cherished her as she grew from spirited girl into stunning, strong woman; an entourage of cousins who she loved like siblings; four nieces, three nephews, and the children of her cousins who she adored and spoiled at every turn; the incredible “Boston family” she inherited when she married Michael; and so many other family members, whether connected by blood or law, who she loved.
Jami’s paternal grandparents Robert and Anna Sharp preceded her in death as a young adult. Her maternal grandparents (and best friends) Paul and Phyllis Zinsmeister passed away more recently. At Jami’s end, they were waiting to welcome her home just as they did in life.
While a world without Jami is still unthinkable, the world with her in it was unforgettable. To be in the light of Jami’s love meant having an unconditional, unwavering presence by your side who would stop at nothing to solve your problems or soothe your pain. She wouldn’t hesitate to march up to any challenge you were facing and take it on as her own. A steadfast nurturer by personality, it only made sense that she would go on to heal people as her vocation; she became a registered nurse after graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2001, and committed herself to excellence in all she did professionally. Everyone who Jami cared for, whether patient or family member, knew that there was no end to the TLC she could give.
She didn’t restrict her care to just humans, though. Jami was fiercely devoted to protecting the lives of all animals, especially cats. She was a beacon for sick, injured, and abandoned cats who would hit the lottery of life just by showing up on her doorstep. She rescued countless animals from a dismal fate, never once even pausing to consider her own needs before saying “yes” to a creature in need, and she made magic happen for them in the process. In the world beyond ours, we take comfort in knowing that every cat who dies in our world neglected, fearful, or without love will get to curl up on the lap of an angel with an endless well of compassion and tenderness for innocent creatures.
Though she did not have human children, Jami gave her heart and soul to her feline kids. Her cats Murray, Birdie, Lucky, Rory, Harvey, Sylvester, Marla, and Lola brought her endless joy, and lived a charmed life with her as their mother. She also earned the trust of many feral cats over the years by showing them the only human kindness they’d ever known. She wore the badge of crazy cat lady with immense pride, not minding that her impeccably stylish wardrobe was usually covered in cat hair.
At a U2 concert in 2009, the brother of one of Jami’s friends took one look at the gorgeous, vivacious woman standing next to his sister and immediately fell in love. Every one of us had always dreamed that an amazing man would come into Jami’s life and treasure her like the jewel she was, but Michael exceeded even our highest hopes. The way he cherished her is the very definition of unconditional love. He stepped in to become her rock when fighting everyone else’s battles left her weary, and never wavered on his promise to be by her side and carry the weight of the world with her. They married in 2014, throwing a rock star bash of a wedding that no one in attendance will ever forget. They squeezed every ounce of life out of the time they had together, going on adventures and traveling the world. And every day, every single one of us thanked our lucky stars that Jami had found the love of her life. It was only right that she would spend every moment she had on earth being showered with the adoration, support, and devotion she had always shown everyone else. Loving and sharing a life with Michael made Jami’s heart and spirit grow to be even more beautiful than it had already been.
Jami was a woman of conviction, with an unyielding sense of justice. You never had to wonder if she had an opinion on an issue or on which side of it she stood, because she’d let you know in no uncertain terms before you even asked. While that could lead to some lively interactions, we all understood that this was just part of knowing and loving such a ferocious woman.
It also meant that you could have zero doubt in the sincerity of Jami’s love. She would completely envelop you in it, taking care of your needs before you could even identify them. She was the first person to show up and dry your tears in a crisis. She always found the perfect gifts—everything from surprising you with the tiniest thing that had reminded her of you, or picking out clothes that she knew with 100% certainty would look amazing on you and make you see yourself in a whole new light. So many of us are better people because of the mountains Jami moved for us with her powerful love and devotion.
In all respects, to say Jami was passionate was an understatement. The time in her life that wasn’t already dedicated to her family or her kitties was spent following her favorite band, U2. She traveled around the world to see them and experience their music live, and in the process, found her people—a massive group of friends flung all over the world who shared her wild heart for the music. It is impossible to describe how far reaching her spark was, shown in the unfathomable number of people who keenly recall her doing some generous thing for everyone waiting for a show to start, or making a hilariously sassy remark to people trying to cut line. Jami always said that U2’s music, and especially Bono’s words, brought her closer to her understanding of God and eternal love than anything else.
So while we try to deal with this staggering loss, it’s only right to try to find comfort in the message she took from the music that was her soul. In all U2 songs, the lyrics ask difficult questions, seeking answers in a world filled with pain. And the answer they always land on, resoundingly, is love. Jami lived this conviction with every ounce of her being, and the life she lived, while cut way too short, is a testament to this. We may never be the same without our Jami, but we know what will have to do to honor her life: live every moment of ours, without hesitation, and love those close to us like there’s no tomorrow.
Who’s to know when the time is coming round?
Don’t want to see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye
Visitation services will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 5-8 PM and Friday, May 10 from 11 AM-12 PM. Funeral and burial services will follow Friday’s visitation. All services will be held at Rose Hill Funeral Home, 2565 Princeton Road, Hamilton, OH 45011.
Jami absolutely adored flowers. We want to make her final resting place as stunningly beautiful as she was, and we would be so grateful for non-plant floral arrangements that we can leave at the cemetery after we lay her to rest.
Generosity and service were the foundation of Jami’s love. If you wish to honor Jami’s legacy of ceaseless work to save cats, please make a donation in her name to Ohio Alleycat Resource by visiting www.ohioalleycat.org.
- Visitation Thursday, May 9, 2019
- Visitation Friday, May 10, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, May 10, 2019
Jami Nicole Sharp
May 9, 2019
Dear Peggy, I am so very sorry about Jami. I remember that beautiful little girl playing downstairs every weekend while we all played cards and listened to music. My heart is broken for you. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Love, Brenda
May 8, 2019
A member of the U2 tribe that sends my heartfelt condolences to her loved ones, AND celebrates the beautiful example of life she lived. I didn’t know her personally, yet in some ways I know her: “Jami always said that U2’s music, and especially Bono’s words, brought her closer to her understanding of God and eternal love than anything else.”
May 8, 2019
We always loved playing together and being cousins. Our time together was so short it seems and I think about you a lot. I hope you were happy and completed everything you wanted. I wish nothing but the best for you and pray that you are safe, free, and at peace now and surrounded by animals. Will forever miss you, my friend.
May 8, 2019
I read about Jami on a U2 facebook page. I did not know her but I almost feel as if I did. I am so, so sorry for your loss.
May 7, 2019
Please accept my deepest sympathies for the loss of your beloved Jami. She was a beautiful soul who will forever be missed by her work family.
May 6, 2019
Jami, the talks and the chats, oh those talks and chats for over 14 years, on everything from the love of U2, our experiences as ICU RNs, each of our families health issues, and the exciting meeting of Michael, your courtship to buying shoes and flowers for your wedding and everything in between. I am so going to miss talking to you about the rest of life. And CATS we could not ever not mention our furbabies, they were a priority for both of us. My biggest ever regret was that I couldn't get time off to go to your wedding that you and Michael so graciously invited me to attend. I will miss you my dear friend, you have all the rail space you could ask for and I will never be at a U2 show or Snow Patrol show without thinking of you! Love you til the stars fall from the sky!
May 6, 2019
Jami was a beautiful, kind, and loving person. She was always there for me especially if I needed advice on my cats or for my mom. She will be greatly missed and will always have a part of my heart. We met at the Philadelphia airport awaiting to board a flight to Dublin to see U2 and had many memories since that day in 2009. To her family and husband, I’m very sorry for your loss. My condolences and prayers go out to you.
May 5, 2019
Jami, we shared time together during U2’s 360 Tour. I especially remember an unforgettable week in Dublin where I got to know your passion for music, your wit and smile. The U2 community mourns your passing but know you are in the main stage of the Lord.
May 5, 2019
I met Jami thru the U2 community several years ago. We did the usual "Bono-loving" online chatting. It was probably a good year until we discovered we only lived 15 miles from each other!
We also had a mutual love for cats. She helped me pick the name for my newest kitty. I'll never forget her laugh when I asked if having 3 cats was too much! I'm going to miss her daily cat lady postings.
I found Jami to be very intelligent and I absolutely loved her quirky sense of humor. She had her own way of doing things and I admire her for that.
My love goes out to Michael, her family, her co-workers and close friends. Words cannot express how sorry I am. You will remain in my prayers. May the memories of your beloved Jami fill the cracks in your heart.
Rest in peace dear, sweet friend. I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky.
May 5, 2019
Jami...my fellow cat whisperer. Any time I was feeling down I knew I could open up your Facebook page and be amused by your antics. Such an honest and fierce lady. I will miss you tremendously