Several months ago I was notified of the death of a woman I met only once, but whose strength, charisma and courage made a lasting impression on me.

Annie died of cancer after discovering a couple years ago that the disease had her in it’s grasp. She lived in Melbourne yet chose to die in Queensland, in the sun and by the sea as she did not want to die in hospital. I was told she’s an oncology sister by profession so I imagine her decision was a very educated one. Her husband and sister were holding her hand as she slipped away.

I am also told by my very good friend that, “She was an amazing human being, contributing to people’s lives in a most awe-inspiring way…. Just too bloody early to be dying at fifty-two … mind you, what Anne jammed into her short life most people wouldn’t get into three normal ones …Vale Annie…”

She went on to say that it’s, “A wonderful gift, to be able to nurse someone you love until the very end, but an awful strain…especially if it’s drawn out..I was able to do so with my Mum a few years ago and it was such a privilege…”

Because of these conversations we’ve been having over the last few days I decided to pull out one of my books called, “Death The Final Stage Of Growth” – By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. (A psychiatrist and world-renowned authority and counselor on death.) She has written a number of illuminating books on the subject that certainly assist people in gaining another perspective, especially when death is a subject that is evaded, denied and ignored in our youth worshiping, progress-orientated society.

The fact is, we will all die, most of us just don’t know when!

I have really appreciated being able to talk with my friend about death, not in a morbid way, but in a healing and almost uplifting way…and one that certainly makes me appreciate more of what I have been given right now….a wonderful life and perfect health.

I like to think I have an affinity and acceptance for all faiths, religions and beliefs. I remember reading a book written by John Edward (a psychic medium who many people believe has the ability to speak to those we have loved and lost) where he said that, “Prayers are like music to their ears”, and since hearing that, I always say, “God Bless You” when I hear of someone’s passing or even a see a dead animal on the side of the road. It somehow makes me feel comforted and almost complete in a way.

This space is available for anyone else to express themselves in any way they see fit. There are no rules about how to talk about death, I think it’s just really important that we do.


On Death And Dying


Elizabeth Richardson currently lives on The Gold Coast Of Australia and is a mother, teacher and author of the International Best Seller 500 Confessions. Elizabeth worked as a Professional Counselor, has trained to lead Group Therapy Workshops , studied Strategic Intervention with Anthony Robbins and Cloé Madanes and is a certified Rebirth Practitioner (Australian Institute Of Rebirthing). These days Elizabeth enjoys a life of total luxury but still plays as a writer professional photographer and web designer. Her passion for living, loving and laughing, remains at the forefront of her focus.

3 thoughts on “On Death And Dying

  • April 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I was very open when my Mum was dying and died….even to the point when I sent the thank-you cards to people after she’d died, I refused (and still do) to refer to her (or anyone for that matter) as “passing away” or “over”….what’s wrong with saying someone’s “died”…?? And I made her discuss everything with me….what type of funeral/farewell she wanted….all that….I think it’s SO important because it’s as much a part of Life as Birth so why all the taboos….. ?? I’ve always liked EK-R’s approach…had a few of her books in my old life…… I haven’t gone as far yet as to list music I want for my send off, though I do have friends who have…and as for being left in a GRAVE…..oook….!!! Useless waste of good fertilizer…..!!!! I want to be buried, vertically…in the most environmentally supportive way possible….so the old bod can at least be fertiliser for something new…..Not burning and adding more CO2s to the already overloaded atmosphere, either…….!!!!

  • April 13, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Last year I went to visit a friend of mine who is a solicitor to speak to her about my will…I really don’t want my family to spend anything at all on my funeral – unless of course they want to. I know that Funeral Parlours provide an excellent service and I’m also very aware of the exorbitant cost that some families feel they need to spend in order to “do the right thing”. I think the least expensive option we came up with in the end was to put me in a pine box – no handles – no trimmings – no hearse – no service – no music – no flowers – no funeral notices – for around $50…frankly, I’d much rather the thought of being fertilizer for a tree too. Just like you said, we get to provide nourishment for another living thing and in a sense we get to live again as well. But hey, that’s just me!

  • April 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

    This is a beautiful post. My husband died with esophagus cancer four years ago and we honored his wish to remain home with his family. I know he appreciated it, and it brought all of us closer, myself, my husband and our three boys.

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