Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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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.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross M.D. (8 July 192624 August 2004) was a psychiatrist, and a pioneer of near-death studies.

Quotes[edit]

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.
  • 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.
    • As quoted in The Leader's Digest : Timeless Principles for Team and Organization (2003) by Jim Clemmer, p. 84
  • 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.
    • As quoted in Another Door Opens (2006) by Jeffrey A. Wands. p. 29
  • We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.
  • Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from. 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.

On Death and Dying (1969)[edit]

  • We have to ask ourselves whether medicine is to remain a humanitarian and respected profession or a new but depersonalized science in the service of prolonging life rather than diminishing human suffering.
    • Ch. 2
  • 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.
    • Ch. 2
  • Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.
    • Ch. 9
  • 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.
  • Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body.
It is difficult to accept death in this society because it is unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that it happens all the time, we never see it.

Death: The Final Stage of Growth (1975)[edit]

  • It is difficult to accept death in this society because it is unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that it happens all the time, we never see it.
    • Ch. 2
  • Those who have been immersed in the tragedy of massive death during wartime, and who have faced it squarely, never allowing their senses and feelings to become numbed and indifferent, have emerged from their experiences with growth and humanness greater than that achieved through almost any other means.
    • Ch. 5
  • Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.
    • Ch. 6

Quotes about[edit]

  • The Swiss-born psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross changed western cultural resistance to dealing with death, and the teaching of how to accept it... Kubler-Ross's best known contribution to the study, thanatology, that she had helped to create, was the five stages of dying people go through. She described them - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - in her bestseller On Death And Dying (1969), written in two months. Not everyone experiences all five, she cautioned, but at least two are always present. The definition, reached after scores of interviews with people facing imminent death, helped the medical profession to deal with a factor it had long refused to acknowledge, especially in the US... She wrote more than 20 books.. A firm believer in a god and the life hereafter, she became fascinated with near-death experiences and an advocate for people's stories of seeing a shining light and familiar faces, before being brought back from the brink.
    • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Obituary, by Christopher Reed, The Guardian, (30 Aug 2004)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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