Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, and author of the internationally best-selling book, On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the "Kübler-Ross model".
Kübler-Ross was a 2007 inductee into the National Women's Hall of Fame, was named by Time as one of the "100 Most Important Thinkers" of the 20th century and was the recipient of nineteen honorary degrees. By July 1982, Kübler-Ross taught 125,000 students in death and dying courses in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, hospitals, and social-work institutions. In 1970, she delivered an Ingersoll Lecture at Harvard University on the theme On Death and Dying.
People are like stained glass windows,
they sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when darkness sets in their true beauty
is revealed only if there is a light from within.
The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
Mankind's greatest gift is that we have free choice.
Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.
Death is not painful. It is the most beautiful experience you will have.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no death the way we understood it. The body dies, but not the soul.
Free choice is the greatest gift God gives to his children.
Love is really the only thing we can possess, keep with us, and take with us.
Live, so you do not have to look back and say: 'God, how I have wasted my life.'
I look for mystery and try to decipher it while knowing it is an impossible task. I look for memory, where Mystery lies.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from and therefore we should be grateful for the opportunity to grow and evolve into our best selves.
I believe every person has a guardian spirit or angel. They assist us in the transition between life and death and they also help us pick our parents before we are born.
A woman needs to know about blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. And she needs to know the kinds of things she can do to stay healthy.
When you spend your life doing what you love to do, you are nourishing your Soul. It matters not what you do, only that you love whatever you happen to do.
Children who die young are some of our greatest teachers. We are allowed to die when we have taught what we came to teach and when we have learned what we came to learn.
Grief will happen either as an open healing wound or a closed festering wound, either honestly or dishonestly, either appropriately or inappropriately. But emotions will be expressed.
We cannot find peace if we are afraid of the windstorms of life.
Throughout life, we get clues that remind us of the direction we are supposed to be headed if you stay focused, then you learn your lessons.
How do the geese know when to fly to the sun?
When we have passed the tests we are sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our souls.
There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit, and supplies passion to our lives.
I'm not okay, you're not okay, and that's okay.
It's not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather our concern must be to live while we're alive.
We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.
We are living in a time of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and despair. It is essential that you become aware of the light, power, and strength within each of you, and that you learn to use those inner resources in service of your own and others' growth.
We bring a deeper commitment to our happiness when we fully understand, that our time left is limited and we really need to make it count.
Lots of my dying patients say they grow in bounds and leaps, and finish all the unfinished business. But assisting a suicide is cheating them of these lessons, like taking a student out of school before final exams. That's not love, it's projecting your own unfinished business.
I have learned there is no joy without hardship. There is no pleasure without pain. Would we know the comfort of peace without the distress of war?
I once considered writing a book called I'm not OK and you're not OK, and that's OK.
It is inconceivable for our unconscious to imagine an actual ending of our own life here on Earth, and if this life of ours has to end, the ending is always attributed to a malicious intervention from the outside by someone else.
According to my parents, I was supposed to have been a nice, churchgoing Swiss housewife. Instead I ended up an opinionated psychiatrist, author and lecturer in the American Southwest, who communicates with spirits from a world that I believe is far more loving and glorious than our own.
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.
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.
It is my conviction that it is the intuitive, spiritual aspects of us humans-the inner voice-that gives us the 'knowing,' the peace, and the direction to go through the windstorms of life, not shattered but whole, joining in love and understanding.
I was destined to work with dying patients. I had no choice when I encountered my first AIDS patient. I felt called to travel some 250,000 miles each year to hold workshops that helped people cope with the most painful aspects of life, death and the transition between the two.
When we grow older and begin to realize that our omnipotence is really not so omnipotent, that our strongest wishes are not powerful enough to make the impossible possible, the fear that we have contributed to the death of a loved one diminishes -- and with it, the guilt.
If, on the other hand, you listen to your own inner voice, to your own inner wisdom, which is far greater than anyone else's as far as you are concerned, you will not go wrong, and you will know what to do with your life. Then time is no longer relevant.
We point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.
When life puts you through a tumbler, it's your choice whether you come out polished or crushed.
Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you've lived.
We think sometimes we're only drawn to the good, but we're actually drawn to the authentic. We like people who are real more than those who hide their true selves under layers of artificial niceties.
The simple life on the farm was everything to me. Nothing was more relaxing after a long plane flight than to reach the winding driveway that led up to my house. The quiet of the night was more soothing than a sleeping pill.
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.
Fear and Guilt are the only enemies of man.
Dying is an integral part of life, as natural and predictable as being born. But whereas birth is cause for celebration, death has become a dreaded and unspeakable issue to be avoided by every means possible in our modern society. Perhaps it is that.
The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles...only by a spiritual journey...by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home. The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.
We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives.
We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.
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.
Mourning can go on for years and years. It doesn't end after a year, that's a false fantasy. It usually ends when people realize that they can live again, that they can concentrate their energies on their lives as a whole, and not on their hurt, and guilt and pain.
Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow.
If you truly want to grow as a person and learn, you should realize that the universe has enrolled you in the graduate program of life, called loss.
Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature's way of letting in only as much as we can handle.
Beautiful people do not just happen.
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.
The five stages -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.
I am an artist because the knot is so powerful I just can not, nor want to be, anything else or do anything else.
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 -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.
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.
I'm going to dance in all the galaxies.
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.
Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life.
I always say that death can be one of the greatest experiences ever. If you live each day of your life right, then you have nothing to fear.
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'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.
Consciously or not, we are all on a quest for answers, trying to learn the lessons of life. We grapple with fear and guilt. We search for meaning, love, and power. We try to understand fear, loss, and time. We seek to discover who we are and how we can become truly happy.
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 those depths.
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 compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.