You know that feeling when you meet or encounter a person who commands reverence and yet is so humble and earnest. Hopefully, during our lives, we have met one or two of those individuals. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was one of those for me. And while I only saw her speak in Pasadena, California sometime around 1977-78.
In America, in our culture, death and dying are still unmentionable for many people, still considered unlucky. As if talking about death would somehow hasten yours or mine, and yet.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross influenced a cultural shift which continues to this day. She talked about and to the dying, giving them a voice and an ear. She started a trend toward reintegrating death into our lives instead of hiding it in a sanitized room away from family. We have much to thank her for. You can learn more about her life, books and work at http://www.ekrfoundation.org/.
Hearing her speak, and talk about death and dying and the importance of recognizing it as a natural part of life, a healthy part of life was inspirational. And even though I was just about twenty-one at the time her words and presence had a profound effect on my own relationship with my own mortality. We just started dating my mortality and me. No reason to rush into anything.