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This is a moment that I could only wish would never come, even though I know it comes for all of us at some time. It is not unexpected, as she had been struggling with her health for the last several years, although she continued to live as fully as she could until the very end. 

I could spend hours talking about her contributions, but I would rather take the opportunity to celebrate her life through the impact she has had on nurses from around the world.  In the past few hours, since word of her death became known, I have heard a great many things about her, from many nurses around the world:
  • Nursing, as a science, has lost a great visionary. We must honor her memory.
  • I remember meeting her after I presented work at a conference, she was so gracious, so complimentary and supportive. It is a memory I will cherish all of my life.
  • She was a grand reference for nursing knowledge…Let us never forget her words. We must always honor her memory.
  • I have never had a conversation with Margie that didn’t make me think hard, didn’t challenge me, didn’t make me have to really consider and support my own opinion – and for that I will be eternally grateful!
  • She was a great nurse and researcher who gave an enormous contribution to nursing.
  • Marjory was a big influence for nursing all over the world, she will be greatly missed.
For me, while all of these statements are true, there is another memory that I will always cherish. It is of a summer during my master’s degree when she mentored me in the research process, while working on one of her large grants. She lectured in our nursing research course, and she was so charismatic, so full of excitement, that I asked if I might work with her on her research. This began a summer that changed my life – I had planned to work on research related to neonatal intensive care, but during my work with her she showed me a broader vision for the profession that I had as yet not considered. I realized it was possible to give voice to the profession of nursing through standardized terms that acknowledged, described and could validate not only what nurses did, but the clinical reasoning the profession required.

It is fair to say that Marjory Gordon changed my life, and undoubtedly the lives of so many others – including some who never had the opportunity to meet her. Her legacy will be the continuation of nurse scientists, informaticists and clinicians who focus on clinical reasoning, who continue to define those phenomena of concern to our discipline, and who develop methods for decision support. I am optimistic - she has built the foundation on which others can now stand, and together with her groundbreaking work, the professionals of today and tomorrow can continue to move us forward, thanks to her vision. Just yesterday I met with a young, undergraduate student in Brazil who is building a tool for students to improve diagnostic reasoning, based on her Functional Health Patterns; a post-doctoral student is building a holistic assessment tool for use in a wound clinic based on FHPs, as well. And so, she lives on.

I would like to share the words of Dr. Fintan Sheerin, President of ACENDIO who, upon learning of her death, sent me these words which, he explained, are used in Ireland when a person of her standing passes on:
Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann – There shall not be her like again.

Dear Marge, you shall indeed be missed.

T. Heather Herdman





CEO
NANDA International, Inc. 

Comments
Carme Espinosa
4/30/2015
Thank you Heather to give voice to the feelings of many nurses in the world. I thank God for having the opportunity of having met Marge, she changed my way of looking at nursing and I will never forget her participation in the NANDA/AENTDE Conference in Madrid, when 1000 nurses from all over the world were meeting, when suddenly, from the space, here comes Marjoerie's voice to inspire and clarify our discusions. I will never forget that day and I will treasure that memory my whole life. Thank you Marge, for all and everything!
Anieche John
8/9/2015
We in AFRICA also benefited from Marjoerie's works. We will always remember her.
Eweka Abieyuwa from Nigeria
12/8/2015
Gordon has added value to the nursing profession, she will be greatly missed.
Eweka Abieyuwa from Nigeria
12/8/2015
Gordon has added value to the nursing profession, she will be greatly missed.
Bilyaminu Bala Yahya
5/26/2016
Even am an undergraduate students i have not yet come across her and contributions,but i know one day definately i will.may soul rest in peace. May god give us the will power to take over from where she stop
Bilyaminu Bala Yahya
5/26/2016
Even am an undergraduate students i have not yet come across her and contributions,but i know one day definately i will.may soul rest in peace. May god give us the will power to take over from where she stop
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