Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Forensic Wisdom

I have just finished reading two books by Janis Amatuzio, MD. She is a forensic pathologist, a coroner, who performs investigations of death scenes, and examinations of people's bodies (after they have died) to help determine the cause of their death. I am sure that this is what brought up my memories of Katie's passing.

Dr. Amatuzio tells many true stories in her books, and she draws observations from the body of evidence (pun intended) in her work, and in the stories that she has come to know. She discusses the difference between observations and judgments:
"Investigations have taught me the value of making observations, not judgments. There's a difference. The first allows for infinite possibilities; the latter closes the door to all but a handful of conclusions."

Here are a few of Dr. Amatuzio's conclusions:
"- There is a rhythm to life, and a season.
- Trust life, God, and trust the process, have faith.
- You are safe. All is well. Life will always go on. That means your life and the life of all others.
- You are deeply loved and never alone.
- You will see your loved ones again and again; and just the power of your thought will draw them near.
- You are more than you know, and you are more than your body. Care for all aspects of yourself. Care for all others as well. Be care-full. Be generous and humble. What you do for another, you do for yourself. Remember who you really are: one made in the image and likeness of God, woven from the immortal threads of Forever. Have no fear..." from Beyond Knowing

She also quotes Eckhart Tolle: "Death is not the opposite of Life. Life has no opposite. Death is the opposite of Birth." from Stillness Speaks.

That last quote really got my attention. "Life has no opposite." Wow.
"Death is the opposite of birth"...That feels true, from my experience of having been present at both of those events. The stories and the observations lead me to think in a larger environment, with a wider view. It is encouraging.

Dr. Amatuzio states that the "interesting" experiences that we have of our loved ones who have passed on before us (such as the wind in Katie's room) happen all of the time, to people everywhere. She believes that people feel embarassed to share them, or they think that no one will believe them, so they keep silent. She also feels that these experiences simply remind us of things that we already knew, and forgot at some point.

Her friend and mentor, Dr. Cal Bandt, told her, "One of the secrets to practicing forensic medicine: it's about 50% what you know and 50% what you feel. That's why you have to keep an open mind -- that's when you notice that gut feeling. Study hard and learn everything you can, and then listen to your feelings...Trust yourself...you'll know." This seems like wise advice for life in general, in addition to forensic medicine.

The photos are a sampling of more local fall color for you.


Tara said...


I found your blog while looking a caring bridge site. I check often and never comment. I am new to this blogging thing! My blog seems so simple just to keep family updated on what our boys are doing.

You truly have a way with words. Your entries are so thought out and beautiful to read. In one entry I think you stated you would like to write a book. I think you should go for it!

Smileygirl said...

Is this the book you were talking about?? Ok you posted this about the time I woke up this morning with my dream...

karengberger said...

smileygirl - Yes, this is the author of the two books! Isn't that amazing?