As I watched you at Laurie’s bedside earlier this week, I saw a woman who has deep insight into the dying process bringing that expertise to bear to help a dear, close friend in a time of powerful need. I am not sure you are aware of the strength of your ability to make the unfathomable not only understood, but welcome. You have a gift, and to watch you simply be with our friend, her family, her friends while the most difficult rapids are navigated was a thing of beauty. I am so glad you are in this world. I am so glad you have such a big heart. I am so glad you were there for Laurie this week in Atlanta. I have seen your superpower - really seen it - and while I have always been your champion, you will not be able to shut me up as an advocate for you and your work from this day forward. Love you infinitely.
My mama is aging, she’s had several strokes, and she talks regularly with me about how she’s preparing to go. Lately the conversations have changed, she talks a lot about visiting with friends, friends who have long since transitioned. She talks a lot about me making sure that my father and my sister don’t try to medicate her or keep her around longer than she wants to be. It still freaks me out a little, natural part of life or not, she’s my mama, and I would like her around for a whole lot longer. And she may be. Or not. But one thing... the freak out doesn’t include fear anymore. And I have you to thank for that. Thank you, Martha. Thank you. Thank you. xo
I’ve been a medical social worker my whole life. I’ve seen every thing you talked about in our patients and we’ve always said it’s just hospitalitis or hospital psychosis. You’ve given me a whole new context. I will do my work differently now because of you.
This morning I experienced pure, exquisite joy. Martha led our class through a guided imagery process that allowed me to reconnect in a deeply profound way with my mother. Mom passed away last June and yet we were together again experiencing pure bliss. There were no spoken words. There was only love.
You were nothing short of amazing, Martha. I will remember that workshop for the rest of my life... really. It was that good! xo
Epic is not a large enough word for what you shared with us, not even close! So much healing took place, ushered by your magic. You are such a gift...
Thank you again for last night. It was really wonderful. I’ve been thinking a lot about it and how completely engaged you had people that I didn’t think would go that deep. It was beautiful. It was God inspired. You are amazing and I’m so appreciative that you are willing to do these things for us.
Dr. Atkins offers a basket of valuable consultative skills and experience. Wonderful insights, superior intelligence, practical advice, refined people skills, a flexible schedule, and a willingness to go the extra mile to please her customers. Our family benefitted from all those, and we quickly concluded that every family should have a similar end of life planning meeting, but only with the help of a thought leader who naturally brings a demeanor of calmness, openness, understanding, tact, a healing presence, empathy, and a deep knowledge of a delicate and sacred subject matter. Dr. Atkins is that person for us !
I’m grateful for you Martha Jo Atkins. My father-in-law passed this last weekend after a 6-month valiant battle with cancer. My mother-in-law passed last year. This is a lot for my sweet husband - especially the loss of his father, who was his absolute rock in life. In accessing your wonderful body of work and generous sharing, I have been able to be with these relatives as they pass in a whole different way and share with my family (the hospice nurse offered me a job!). The grief and sadness right now is palpable within our household and I’m now listening to your tapas talk on dealing with death with children so I can hopefully bring more of your goodness to my tween and teen and into our home at this time. Thank you Martha for all you do.
There are no great words to describe how AWESOME you were — you transformed and were transforming. You were completely present yet completely connected to Elsewhere. You were so absolutely YOU. I loved bearing witness. And I love that YOU so much.
Thank you for the work you do and for helping me comprehend what I am witnessing. Throughout the past months, I have found the experience to be quite extraordinary and profoundly moving. For this I am truely grateful.