A woman of great intelligence, of bright color, of brilliance, of remarkable insight, a pioneer of the hospice movement.
I’ve found myself being visited in dreams by
Elisabeth since returning from the
National Hospice Gala!
While there I was so blessed with seeing old friends, meeting new folks from hospices around the globe
and seeing Elisabeth’s son,
Ken Ross and being with him,
hearing him talk so lovingly of his Mother
and sharing pictures of her.
Visiting with Ken and Dianne Gray who I am honored to call my friends, the President of the Hospice and Homecare Communications Speakers Bureau as they both continue the work of Elisabeth, both share the vision and mission through the work and the beauty seen through her eyes and her love shared unconditionally.
Stephen Connor, (Worlwide Palliative Care Alliance), Dianne Gray (Hospice and Healthcare Communication), Ken Ross (Phoenix Photograhper, Elisabeth’s son)
As Elisabeth continues to dance across the galaxies, I feel certain she is watching over all here, meeting and enjoying the thousands that she met in this life
and, I stand amazed to have her visit me in dreams,
and at times awaken with fresh insight or renewed energy as I laugh when thinking of writing on
“who invented the wheel” and those who spend hours and years now thinking of new spins on grief/dying/death; along with those who seem to want to discredit or find fault or want to discredit her with her landmark work
“On death and dying”.
She did invent the wheel as she brought dying and death into the light!
Others will add spokes to it through time, but the wheel still turns
and the marvelous Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
was the one who put the rubber to the road
and the wheel continues to turn thanks to her landmark works and her remarkable life.
She had a bedside and lecturn presence
that still could light up a room
and as she would lift a finger like ET
she was ready
to go home, to transition and to celebrate
her dance to the galaxies.
Like the butterfly she flew with great beauty
to the next place.
I also learned from the true experts as she did;
by those that were experiencing their journey;
the little ones and the Elders
who were walking the road of life limiting illness, tragedy, sudden death, bereavement and horrors;
who opened their world and allowed me to view and to walk with them through their experiences and shared their world.
Those who were walking a path that only is known to the people who experience it; through denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance
and the many accompanying feelings that are like spectrums of light in between.
For years I tried to let people know that those phases/stages were not meant to be taken as linear, but they are circular
as is life…
but folks love to think of think in a line,
indicating that everything has a nice clear sight with a beginning middle and end.
It would indicate with that kind of thinking there are no cliffs, no mountains, no waterfalls
or unknown territories to navigate.
Life is not that easy, nor is death!
Kubler-Ross did not intend for people nor professional caregivers to take that model so rigidly!
Knowing that there is so much more, but only trying to give an overview of what is a foundation to stand …
Oh but she had so much more to offer us!
She tried to get to the heart of
and folks tend to still have some resistence to the real meat and the issue at hand.
The art of the science
is the real skill when working with people.
“Listening to patients and families”
is the art!
Being open to hear with all your senses
and to embrace anothers pain
without making it your own
while acknowledging the stages/phases,
keeping the circle going
and the never ending knowing
with unconditional care.
Many will say that they are a good listener
one has to wonder if they are really present.
It takes years, to master the art of
your skill and practice.
It takes a firm belief
to continually stand in awe of another’s experience.
The children has been some of my greatest teachers, they are so honest in their talks *if you can get them away from the parents it seems*.
They seem to know a long time before the docs, the tests and everyone else
what is going on with them.
They are not as fearful as dying
as they are of having someone to talk to when they want to talk.
They want to keep it simple,
but are profound in their wisdom
like little old souls
knowing what they want, when they want it
that they are hear but a short time.
Ah, but we will always look to Elisabeth,
her stories, her research, and her unconditional love and intent for the world
in helping us all live our lives better
knowing that life is short,
it is to be treasured.
In her many books, Elisabeth likened many things to windstorms, to canyons, to surviving and to beauty.
May you stand with amazing grace during your windstorms
while embracing each moment
and never ever take your eye off the beauty of the carvings!
I wish you all you dare to dream
and each day
with passion compassion
and great joy.
Walk in Beauty,