In "The Wheel of Life," Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, an early pioneer of studies on death and dying, reports interviewing tens of thousands of people, whose vital signs had stopped but later were revived.

Death, says Kubler-Ross, occurs in distinct phases. The accounts given by subjects ages 2-99 and culturally diverse were too similar to discount. The floating out of bodies, the tunnel, the light, meeting with deceased family members--she heard it all over and over again.

One woman reported floating out of her body, hearing doctors pronounce her dead, and watching them cover her with a sheet. A young resident, in his nervousness, told a joke; Mrs. Schwartz, on being revived, reported it back to him.

Those who entered what she calls Phase Four reported being "in the presence of the Highest Source. Some called it God. Others reported simply knowing they were surrounded by every bit of knowledge there was, past, present and future. It was nonjudgmental and loving."

In this phase, people reviewed every thought and action of their lives. They reported being asked the question, "What service have you rendered?"

"It demanded that people confront whether or not they had made the highest choices in life. They found out whether or not they learned the lessons they were supposed to learn, the ultimate being unconditional love."

What service have you rendered? It's a question directed out and away from the self.

It's a good question.

And today, as I turn 40, is a good time to start answering.


  1. You answer it with your life, lady! You're a wonder to behold.

  2. It IS a good question - and you are a GREAT lady Amy - we hope you have had a fun day celebrating and can keep on celebrating all year long...along with the myriad of other things happening in your life - that in itself is its own answer don't you think? Much love Robin & Karen

  3. Thanks for the reminder, Amy... and for sharing the gift of your written thoughts... which is just one way in which you continue to answer the question... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  4. Leah Omogrosso-BoyleNovember 22, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Happy Birthday!!!! :) OLD LADY!!!!! Hope all is well with you & the fam. Are you coming this way for Xmas?


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