97+ Best Elisabeth Kubler Ross Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, and author of the internationally best-selling book, On Death and Dying, where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the “Kübler-Ross model”. Profoundly inspirational Elisabeth Kubler Ross quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Elisabeth Kubler Ross Quotes

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Is war perhaps nothing else but a need to face death, to conquer and master it, to come out of it alive a peculiar form of denial of our mortality? – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

We are all so bent and determined to get what we want; we miss the lessons that could be learned from life’s experiences. Many of my AIDS patients discovered that the last year of their lives was by far their best. Many have said they wouldn’t have traded the rich quality of that last year of life for a healthier body. Sadly, it is only when tragedy strikes that most of us begin attending to the deeper aspects of life. It is only then that we attempt to go beyond surface concerns-what we look like, how much money we make, and so forth-to discover what’s really important. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

dying nowadays is more gruesome in many ways, namely, more lonely, mechanical, and dehumanized; at times it is even difficult to determine technically when the time of death has occurred. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Death is the final stage of growth in this life. There is no total death. Only the body dies. The self or the spirit, or whatever you may wish to label it, is eternal. You may interpret this in any way that makes you comfortable. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I think that as you evolve spiritually, automatically your body tells you what is acceptable for your body and what is not. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Learning lessons is a little like reaching maturity. You’re not suddenly more happy, wealthy, or powerful, but you understand the world around you better, and you’re at peace with yourself. Learning life’s lessons is not about making your life perfect, but about seeing life as it was meant to be. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Think of a lifeless forest in which a small plant pushes its head upward, out of the ruin. In our grief process, we are moving into life from death, without denying the devastation that came before. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

In the so-called civilized world, children are physically, sexually and/or emotionally abused; they are the leaders of our future. When children are raised in such a hostile and violent environment, how can we hope for a harmonious future for all people of this world? In this light, the purpose of human life is to achieve our own spiritual evolution, to get rid of negativity, to establish harmony among our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual quadrants, to learn to live in harmony within the family, community, nation, ..treating all of mankind as brothers and sisters. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I look for mystery and try to decipher it while knowing it is an impossible task. I look for memory, where Mystery lies. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

When life puts you through a tumbler, it’s your choice whether you come out polished or crushed. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

It’s not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather our concern must be to live while we’re alive. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There are dreams of love, life, and adventure in all of us. But we are also sadly filled with reasons why we shouldn’t try. These reasons seem to protect us, but in truth they imprison us. They hold life at a distance. Life will be over sooner than we think. If we have bikes to ride and people to love, now is the time. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Grief is not just a series of events, stages, or timelines. Our society places enormous pressure on us to get over loss, to get through grief. But how long do you grieve for a husband of fifty years, a teenager killed in a car accident, a four-year-old child: a year? Five years? Forever? The loss happens in time, in fact in a moment, but its aftermath lasts a lifetime. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Our only purpose in life is growth. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I am an artist because the knot is so powerful I just can not, nor want to be, anything else or do anything else. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

The only incontrovertible fact of my work is the importance of life. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

You may not get what you want, but God always gives you what you need. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

You are not a powerless speck of dust drifting around in the wind…we are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes-unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

My patients taught me not how to die, but how to live. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost. We think we want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss we want to avoid. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There is no problem that is not actually a gift. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Death is the great transition. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I was educated in line with the basic premise: work work work. You are only a valuable human being if you work. This is utterly wrong. Half working, half dancing – that is the right mixture. I myself have danced and played too little. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

How do 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 certainly when to go forth into the unknown. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Free choice is the greatest gift God gives to his children. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

When we face the worst that can happen in any situation, we grow. When circumstances are at their worst, we can find our best. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

If you are ready for mystical experiences, you have them. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

If we could see that everything, even tragedy, is a gift in diguise, we would then find the best way to nourish the soul. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

We all have to go through the tumbler a few times before we can emerge as a crystal. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Whether you know it or not, one of the most important relationships in your life is with your Soul. Will you be kind and loving to your Soul, or will you be harsh and difficult? Many of us unknowingly damage our Souls with our negative attitudes and actions or by simple neglect. By making the relationship with your Soul an important part of your life, however, by honoring it in your daily routine, you give your life greater meaning and substance. Use your experiences-all of them-as opportunities to nourish your Soul! – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Even though I had a good income from my lectures, no one would give me a loan. The insanity almost drove me to sympathize with the feminist movement. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Death is but a transition from this life to another existence where there is no more pain and anguish. All the bitterness and disagreements will vanish, and the only thing that lives forever is love. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Real love doesn’t die. It’s the physical body that dies. Genuine, authentic love has no expectations whatsoever; it doesn’t even need the physical presence of a person… Even when he is dead and buried that part of you that loves the person will always live. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Beautiful people do not just happen. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

It is the denial of death that is partially responsible for people living empty, purposeless lives; for when you live as if you’ll live forever, it becomes too easy to postpone the things you know that you must do. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I’m not okay, you’re not okay, and that’s okay. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

When I die I’m going to dance first in all the galaxies…I’m gonna play and dance and sing. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings. – Elisabeth Kubler 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

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I once considered writing a book called, I’m not OK and you’re not OK, and that’s OK. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

We will never be enlightened unless we realize and own what our capacity, from the best of the best to the worst of the worst because then we have more empathy, more compassion, more sympathy for others who do things that are hurtful and harmful and we see, given certain situations, I’m capable of that myself. So, I’m less judgmental. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Old age is not synonymous with being ‘glad to die. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

It is important to feel the anger without judging it, without attempting to find meaning in it. It may take many forms: anger at the health-care system, at life, at your loved one for leaving. Life is unfair. Death is unfair. Anger is a natural reaction to the unfairness of loss. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

God, how I have wasted my life. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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 – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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. – Elisabeth Kubler 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. – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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