Lessons from an amazing woman

26 February 2015

Lessons from an amazing woman

Katherine Fleming was a dynamic woman who not only talked the talk of the importance of being person-centred, she also walked the walk in work and in everything she did.  It is with sad hearts that we say farewell to a friend and colleague.  It is also with grateful hearts that we, the HSA Canada family, say thank you to Katherine for what she has taught us.


Katherine, you taught me to follow my dreams; to be patient and things will work out. I have learnt that when you know in your heart it is the right thing to do and you are truly being person-centred, you do not have to justify your work. I have learnt to be creative and to think outside the box more because Katherine, you had no boxes! You taught me to never be ashamed to make mistakes, never apologize for mistakes (unless I have hurt someone of course); everyone makes mistakes and it is a good thing that helps us learn and grow.  I have learnt to step into the conflict because, really, what is the worst that will happen? I have learnt that when someone is valued and truly supported by another person, they would do anything for them; they would follow them and work their butt off for them and support all their ideas! Katherine, your memory and knowing what was truly important to you, will not only be honored by us at Centerpoint Facilitation, it will be our guidance in the work we do.



When I think of you Katherine, I think of laughter. I have laughed with you until my cheeks hurt and tears flowed. When I think of you, I think of strength and audacity. You were a leader and never afraid to tell it like it is.  You will be one of those people I never forget, because you shaped my future. At a time when I was at a crossroad, you helped me see the light down the terrifying path. You inspired me and continue to inspire me. I will miss you greatly, but what you have taught me will last my lifetime. Katherine, in your honor I shall have a glass of vodka and laugh until I cry no more.



Katherine, your zest for life and your way of taking the best from every experience has taught me that this world is not as scary as it sometimes seems to be.  Your vision and ability to put an idea into concrete actions that make a difference have taught me to go for it and take risks because it is the only real way to make a dent in this world. I have also learned that it is better to try and fail than to have never tried at all.

Katherine you were not only a visionary, you were also an innovative trailblazer and I learned that there is no reason why I should shoot for the stars when the moon can make a bigger difference.  You taught me that it’s important to follow my gut and to explore new territory; I will be amazed by what I discover and learn.

How you prioritized family and friends and looked out for their wellbeing was impressive.  You were not only a strong advocate in your work but also for your family so that they received person-centred supports and services with their own health needs. Spending quality time with others was important to you and I always felt that you were present in the moment with me.  Thank you for listening deeply.

You will continue to be part of my life because you have left a positive mark on my mind and my heart. Thank you for being you my friend.


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