John hosts the syndicated TV show, Crossing Over With John Edward.
USA Weekend, October 11-13, 2002
Kubler-Ross, 76, is the pioneering author of On Death and Dying and many other books. During her work with terminally ill patients in the 1960's, she identified the now-famous five stages of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Originally, she was a non-believer in an afterlife, but her years of work with the dying convinced her of the possibility of communicating with the dead.
She discusses this evolution most fully in her 1997 book The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying. We invited her to give us her thoughts on John Edward. [See reference to John in the story "The Value Jet Crash" in Louise's Heart-Links].
In America, nobody talks about dying and death. But John Edward opens up the topics. I watch his show all the time. He tells the people who come to him the truth, not just what they want to hear. He helps them with the grieving process; he helps them work out issues that were left unresolved.
His success is part of something larger: Our attitudes about death are slowly changing—and it's about time. When I started my work, if you were a patient in the hospital, doctors never told you if you had an inoperable cancer. They beat around the bush, talking nonsense people did not understand. Now, they tell patients more of the truth.
And people who are dying have many more options now. They can choose to die at home or in a hospice. Before, people were afraid to mention a hospice, because it implied that they were dying. Now doctors bring it up as an option.
The hardest thing for some people to accept is the idea, not just of an afterlife, but that we can communicate with those who have passed on. In my own work, I interviewed many people who had come back from near-death experiences. They told me things they could not have known otherwise. And I have spoken to some who have passed on.
It wasn't acceptable to talk about this when I first did so about 20 years ago. People said: "She's slipped. She's had too many losses in her life, too, many deaths." People are more curious about it now. It's a slow transition, but I think we're finally growing up about death. It's a fact, and it's part of life, but it's not the end.
John Edward helps people see that. He lets people know that those who have passed on are aware that they were with them at the end, that they know what they felt. He affirms people's feelings and helps them work through what has happened. That's a healthy thing. He also has a good sense of humor. I like that.
I've been paralyzed for seven years. I'm ready to go. When I die, I'm going to dance on all the galaxies. Oprah Winfrey asked me to send her a message. I'm going to pinch her in the tush to let her know I made it.
As for John Edward—I'm sure I'll talk with him.