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Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross was born in Switzerland in 1926.  In the aftermath of World War II,
she was a volunteer in IVSP, International Voluntary Service for Peace.  She spent
time in Poland and then Germany, aiding survivors of the concentration
camps, as well as the defeated Germans, to rebuild their lives.  She came to the
U.S. in the 1950s.  In 1969, her book, On Death and Dying was published; it is
in this book that the "stages" of dying are discussed.  She passed away on August 24, 2004.
Read more about Elisabeth here.


As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things.  To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do.

I say to people who care for people who are dying, if you really love that person and want to help them, be with them when their end comes close.  Sit with them--you don't even have to talk.  You don't have to do anything but really be there with them.
We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Humankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice.  We can make our choices built from love or from fear.

To love means not to impose your own powers on your fellow people but offer them your help.   And if they refuse it, to be proud that they can do it on their own strength.

You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.
It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us.  Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are. 


We all have to go through the tumbler a few times before we can emerge as a crystal.


I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices,
and we have to accept the consequences of every
deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.


It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time
on earth--and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will
then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.



Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that
everything in life has purpose.  There are no mistakes, no
coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle
and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. 

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love,
which includes not only others but ourselves as well. 


Watching a peaceful death of a human being
reminds us of a falling star; one of
a million lights in a vast sky that flares
up for a brief moment only to disappear
into the endless night forever.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known
defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found
their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a
sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions,
gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.

We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about
its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.



I have never met a person whose greatest need was
anything other than real, unconditional love.  You can
find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who
needs help.  There is no mistaking love. You feel it
in your heart.  It is the common fiber of life, the flame
that heals our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion
to our lives.  It is our connection to God and to each other.


Should you shield the canyons
from the windstorms,
you would never see
the beauty of their carvings. 

There is no need to go to India or anywhere
else to find peace. You will find that
deep place of silence right in your room,
your garden or even your bathtub.


We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind,
blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful
snowflakes--unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.

How do the geese know when to fly to the sun?  Who tells
them the seasons?  How do we, humans, know when it is
time to move on?  As with the migrant birds, so surely with us;
there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells
us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.

Live, so you do not have to look back and say:  "God, how I have wasted my life."

I didn't fully realize it at the time, but the goal of my life
was profoundly molded by this experience - to help produce,
in the next generation, more Mother Teresas and fewer Hitlers.
I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky
to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.

There is not much sense in suffering, since drugs can be given
for pain, itching, and other discomforts. The belief has long
died that suffering here on earth will be
rewarded in heaven. Suffering has lost its meaning.

Dying is something we human beings do continuously,
not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.

If we make our goal to live a life
of compassion and unconditional love,
then the world will indeed become a garden where
all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow. 


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