Celebrating Dr. Carol Tunney, MD
February 1956 – October 2013
My best friend and sis*star is letting go of life. In June she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It’s been a summer of shock and awe riding waves of emotions. Carol’s shares “medicine can become a burden when we forget we don’t do anything alone. Spirit is always with us.”
The first couple of months Carol didn’t want me to say anything to anyone. People get weird when the healer gets sick, especially cancer. She let a few people know. As her BFF, with spirit’s help I was glad to help hold point. Hold love. Hold her. We talked a lot. Did journeys and healings.
She never gave up. She kept surrendering. Even after the surgery there was good news. Even after the mrsa virus almost killed her she never gave up. She surrendered. Even after the some damn healer friend told her she had run out of time, it was time for her to die. It was karma. Well that’s another story to share another time. She never gave up. She surrendered.
She was ready to write about her journey with medicine, about living life and healing PTSD. Her journey is a deep lesson for me. A wake up call. Death wasn’t expected. It was sent on its way many times. No one saw this coming.
Tell your story.
I’ll share a bit of hers. Along the way she healed the childhood trauma and then immersed herself in shamanic studies and wisdom. An ob/gyn Dr. Carol Marie Tunney, MD left medicine to be a shamanic practitioner. How brave and bold is that! When the Spirits called she listened. She was a miracle worker with crystals, healing and teaching with a robust and bawdy sense of humor. She called me on my sh#$%t and I called her on hers.
As friends we took care to keep things in balance…speak our truth, be real.
In 2011 a drunk driver ran off the road, crashing his truck into the side of her home.
Within minutes the house was engulfed in flames. Carol and her beloved animals made it out alive. She walked away. Never gave up. She started over.
Bravely and boldly she started over so many times.
Carol why did you go to medical school?
(there’s a rich deep story in the recorded interview below).
“At four I knew I was a healer. I wore a stethoscope…
being a healer meant wearing a stethoscope. Doctors wore stethoscopes. So I became a physician. I loved the art of medicine.”
At a time when things were really tough for women in medicine she got her degree, did residency, and started her own practice. Dealing with abused women, working with female issues there came a time when she couldn’t deny her own sexual trauma. Living her truth opened up her intuitive gifts…there wasn’t any room for that in the 90’s… it kicked up people’s stuff.
That scared her and the traditional medical community…she had to leave. She forgave herself and them.
This summer she proudly told me “the difference is the docs work on putting out fires. As a physician I saw the fires coming.” Medicine lost a great healer and teacher. Here’s the thing she’s planted seeds with her students and friends. To you I say “Carry on the legacy of her teaching. The power of her presence in your life. Share your stories. Inspire others.”
Dearest Carol Marie,
Wow. Wow. Wow.
You are my sis*star and best friend. I adore and love you. I know you know that. I say good bye with love. It has been a gift and blessing knowing you, especially walking with you these last four months.
I feel sad. My tears come and go like the tides.
I’m going to miss you. Just miss you. Miss our deep conversations… just hearing your voice and laughter made my day. Is it wrong of me to read your Facebook feed and pretend you just posted it? I see you swinging on our porch swing, even now. I remember sitting at dinner at Omega and knowing I wanted to be your friend. Such fun we’ve had together…
At Ghost Ranch with Caroline.
Driving around Florida with Mushroom handing out peanut M&M’s in the back seat.
Teaching Medicine for the Earth.
Shell mound. Crystal journeys.
The beach. The sharing. The caring. The love. The witnessing. The holding space. So many good memories, they will keep me.
I celebrate you…and your life. I will carry on. We’ll meet again.
Go in peace. Go in love.
Go gently as Spirit welcomes you Home.
Carol Marie Tunney, MD passed in a blaze of love Friday, October 25th, rattling and storytelling…with a smile on her face.
For those who hunger to hear her stories, I dug this up in the archives….
Interview with Carol Marie Tunney, MD in 2011.
What happens when the doctor cuts herself off from spirit? Love hearing you laugh! Working in partnership. Working in medicine. Working with trauma. Working with crystals. Building power.
And finally I asked “Carol what do you want your legacy to be?” Grab some Kleenex.
Thanks to Sandra Ingerman for all your support. Pictures are gathered from friends. Thanks to Gail Walker, Sylvia Edwards and Fran Oppenheimer.
If you are in need of a shamanic teacher, please visit my tribe http://shamanicteachers.com
Carol Marie Tunney, MD is a contributing author to the book: Spirited Medicine: Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare. Most of its authors are dually trained as both healthcare providers and shamanic practitioners, and collectively they offer a broad framework and powerful clinical examples of how to attend to the soul of those who fall ill.
Filled with practical strategies for healthcare and shamanic practitioners alike, this book brings shamanism forward from its historic and animistic origins into a broad range of Western medical settings: surgery, psychotherapy, rehabilitation medicine, family medicine, naturopathy, osteopathy, hospice care, private practice and a general medical clinic.