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Quotes

50 Quotes by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

“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


“When life puts you through a tumbler, it’s your choice whether you come out polished or crushed.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Death and Dying, 1969)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“The ultimate lesson is learning how to love and be loved unconditionally.
Variant: The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Quoted in Teachers in Wisdom, 2010)


“How do these 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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“There is no joy without hardship. If not for death, would we appreciate life? If not for hate, would we know the ultimate goal is love? At these moments you can either hold on to negativity and look for blame, or you can choose to heal and keep on loving.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“You have to temper the iron. Every hardship is an opportunity that you are given, an opportunity to grow. To grow is the sole purpose of existence on this planet Earth. 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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death is of Vital Importance, 1995)


“We run after values that, at death, become zero. At the end of your life, nobody asks you how many degrees you have, or how many mansions you built, or how many Rolls Royces you could afford. That’s what dying patients teach you.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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?”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is no different from taking off a suit of clothes one no longer needs. 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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Life Lessons, 2000)


“Live, so you do not have to look back and say: “God, how I have wasted my life.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Death and Dying, 1969)


“We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Living With Death and Dying, 1981)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Death and Dying, 1969)


“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 in spite of all our technological advances. We may be able to delay it, but we cannot escape it. We, no less than other, non-rational animals, are destined to die at the end of our lives. And death strikes indiscriminately – it cares not at all for the status or position of the ones it chooses; everyone must die, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown. Even good deeds will not exclude their doers from the sentence of death; the good die as often as the bad. It is perhaps this inevitable and unpredictable quality that makes death so frightening to many people. Especially those who put a high value on being in control of their own existence are offended by the thought that they too are subject to the forces of death.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Children and Death, 1985)


“The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Life After Death, 1991)


“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. you may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do. Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived. and you will not have a pleasant death.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross  (The Wheel of Life, 1997)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“There is a time in a patient’s life when the pain ceases to be, when the mind slips off into a dreamless state, when the need for food becomes minimal and the awareness of the environment all but disappears into darkness. This is the time when the relatives walk up and down the hospital hallways, tormented by the waiting, not knowing if they should leave to attend the living or stay to be around for the moment of death. This is the time when it is too late for words, and yet the time when the relatives cry the loudest for help–with out without words…. It is the hardest time for the next of kin as he either wishes to take off, to get it over with; or he desperately clings to something that he is in the process of losing forever.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Death and Dying, 1969)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Life Lessons, 2000)


“For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)


“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.
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Death and Dying, 1969)


“Learn to get in touch with the 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.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“And after your death, when most of you for the first time realize what life here is all about, you will begin to see that your life here is almost nothing but the sum total of every choice you have made during every moment of your life.  Your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds.  You will begin to realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of lives.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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 less Hitlers.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“I think modern medicine has become like a prophet offering a life free of pain. It is nonsense. The only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“The truth does not need to be defended.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“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.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


“When I came to this country in 1958, to be a dying patient in a medical hospital was a nightmare. You were put in the last room, furthest away from the nurses’ station. You were full of pain, but they wouldn’t give you morphine. Nobody told you that you were full of cancer and that it was understandable that you had pain and needed medication.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


 
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