Dedication to Bruce Irvine

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bruce-irvineWith great sadness we received the news that Bruce Irvine, Head of The Grubb School of Organisational Analysis, friend, colleague, mentor and teacher, leader at the edge has passed away, on the 11th of March 2015.

While the shock is huge, we are in touch with a deeply felt gratitude for his unique space in this world – how fearlessly loving he was, how brutally honest, how uncompromisingly curious and how tirelessly purposeful in all his roles, enabling others to make sense of their experience in order to make a difference in the world we co-create.

The best way we can express our gratitude, hope and love for Bruce is by continuing the work he was doing, asking the poignant questions he would be asking, seeing the abundant possibilities and living the cosmic interconnectedness he embodied.

This space is dedicated to Bruce, it is an invitation to share and read tributes and reflections from around the world.

Tributes from those who knew Bruce

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12-13th March 2015

“Crossfields Institute would like to express its deep regret and sadness at the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Bruce Irvine.
Bruce was a warm, intensely intelligent and witty colleague, and it has been our great pleasure to work with him in the last few years.
We send our deepest condolences and support to all staff and students of the Grubb School.
From the Trustees and Executive Group, on behalf of all colleagues at Crossfields Institute.”

Charlotte Von Bulow
Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute

“This is a big shock.
Only yesterday I saw something Bruce posted on FaceBook sometime ago and I thought of reaching out to say hi. I hope he did not suffer too much.

Though we have not spoken in a while I considered him a friend and loved his cooking and the times we spent together. Please extend our condolences to his family and keep us abreast of the preparations. Wishing Papa Bruce a safe, peaceful journey onward. He will be missed.”

Tanya Barnes-Eligon
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

“This is indeed sad beyond words.
May he rest in peace, and let perpetual light shine upon him.”

Barry Eligon
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

“I’m shocked and saddened by this and don’t know what else to say. I thought of Bruce up to two days ago, reminding myself to send him an update on some work I was doing. So very sad.”

Helen Carrington
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

“Be assured that the whole Cabrini world is praying for Bruce and saddened by the news. Just wanted you to know that I have been getting e-mails from our sisters from all over the world expressing their sorrow and shock at the loss of Bruce. He was held in high esteem by our sisters.”

Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC
Superior General Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“I’ve just read the news about Bruce. I am not sure what else to say at the moment. He had a big impact on me and I will always be grateful for that. I can’t imagine the loss his family and the other members of the Grubb are feeling.”

Catherine Garner
Executive Director Mission & Strategy, Cabrini Health

“I was told the very sad news of Bruce’s death. I wanted to share my condolences and say what a pleasure it was to work with you both, and that Bruce will be greatly missed when we next get together with Cabrini colleagues. His ability to guide and influence and enthuse was exceptional. With best wishes,”

Dr Michael Walsh
Chief Executive, Cabrini Health

“To my Grubb family,

Thank you to everyone for providing all of those comforting words. There’s a big hole in my heart tonight. Know that I am with you all as we mourn our inestimable loss.


Kathleen Stroud

“Dear Friends,

I feel deeply shocked and saddened about it. Knowing and working with Bruce had made a profound impact in my life and I am very grateful for that, and his example and humanity will continue as a guide for everybody. I send my deepest condolences for Bruce’s family and for the Friends at the Grubb.

I am with you at these difficult moments.”

Jorge Mendoza

“This deep feeling of unexpected loss goes to my heart and brings forth a flood of memories.
Bruce was a man of much energy, great learnings and generosity and I am greatful to have met him.
In my thoughts I am with all of you.”

Liv Hok

“How sad to hear about Bruce’s death! What a great human being he was to our world!

My condolences to you, his family and all others who have been touched by him in one way or another. He was a great contributor to the members of the Religious Institutes constantly challenging them to be ‘connected to the source’ to be the persons they have been created to be. I am grateful that I had the privilege to know him and be benefitted by his work on Leadership.

May we continue to be inspired by his ‘presence'”

Michael Waas
Marist Brothers, Rome

“Dear All,
I am not able to express what I feel, only that it is unbelievable sad to hear what has happened last night.
I met Bruce 2009 in Leicester, he worked as a consultant in my small study group. I was deeply impressed about the way he worked, he really put me in touch with the „whole” or how ever you want to call it. I decided to „follow“ him to the Grubb institute to continue my learning..this and steps that followed changed the way who and how I am.
I am very grateful for having had the chance meeting him.”

Martin Lüdemann

“Dear colleagues,
What a shocking reality to read that
Bruce’s unending passion for learning and innovation has come to such an abrupt end. I need silence to feel and understand what this means for all of us. My thoughts are with his family.”

Joost Levy

“Dear John and all,
What shocking, almost unthinkable news to hear of Bruce’s ‘untimely’ death. May he rest in peace.
My abiding memory of him, was of my last weekend in the Grubb, where Bruce worked with us in such an amazing and seamless way. I can easily say it was truly a peak learning experience for me which has never been paralleled by any other. What a sense of loss.
To all of you, who knew him much deeper than I, the loss must be acute. My deepest sympathy to you, as well as to his family and friends.
With love and gratitude for having had the privilege of benefiting from his work.”

Frances Heery

“What desperately sad and shocking news. And, perhaps he unconsciously chose to further his exploration of cosmic connectedness on the other side – who knows what may emerge from this. His departure could be a new beginning …. It seems to me that many highly evolved souls are choosing to pass over at the moment and perhaps he is needed on the other side more than he is needed here.

He was such a dedicated, passionate and inspirational man who fired us all with incredible curiosity about the possibilities of life, the universe and everything. I completely concur with what you say about carrying on exploration of the questions he asked. My learning and experience with the Grubb is with me daily, so I shall indeed continue on the quest!

Thank you for letting us know so quickly. Please let us know about funeral arrangements. Warm regards, and love,”

Lorna McDowell

“So sorry, so shocked.
My thoughts are with Bruce’s family and friends, but also with my huge admiration for him. I am indebted to him as a teacher and leader.
All love”

Rosalind Scott

“Hi Rebekah, John and Marjoleine
I am sitting in shock and can’t believe what I am reading. I am hearing his voice and remembering profound moments of insight I have had through interactions with him and great belly laughs I have had with him. I can’t begin to sort through my reactions and shock and imagine it must be infinitely more terrible for you who have worked so closely with him. My love to you all and to him”

Jane Lowther

“I’m struggling to find the words to respond to this post. I can only imagine the great hole that his loss is going to cause to all those that knew him, especially a great many of you that are part of this community. Such a raw reminder of the fragility of life. And from what I saw of Bruce, what a wonderful, purposeful life he lived. Love and Light.

Monique. X”

Monique Hewitt

“Oh my…Bruce…I am thankful for his presence, his purpose and his joy. I can still remember the first time his insight physically shocked me…into movement!
Thank you Bruce.
x Cath”

Cath McKinney

“I cant believe this, it seems like a dream. I’m in shock. My heart aches for everyone.
Thank you Bruce for all you have given, it has been immense.
Robyn x”

Robyn Hartley

“Dear Rebekah, John and Marjoleine,

I am in total shock at receiving this news. I am so sorry to hear it. Unbelievable that we just saw him the other day for the OSE.

If it wasn’t for Bruce, I would not have come to this path and this program. Such intellect and honesty within one person. I am really going to miss him.

My deepest condolences to you all, and to everyone who has been touched by him.


Aarti Kapoor

“Dear Rebekah, John and Marjoleine
I am still sitting in a state of shock over the loss of Bruce. I had not known him for long however in those 2 years he has had a profound impact, for which I am forever grateful.
I am struggling to find any more words at the moment, my thoughts and wishes are with you all
Janet x”

Janet Gilbertson

“With tears flowing… Like most I imagine this to be a dream. Bruce you challenged me, infuriated me, made me stop and and really consider another way. I feel so sad and can only imagine the loss of family and dear friends. And the loss to the world. I am so truly grateful for the work you have done in the world. the roads you have paved. the paths you have made. thank you. thank you. my deep love and appreciation for you in this life. and my anticipation for meeting you in the next. please extend my/our deepest sympathy to his family xxxx”

Melissa Pryor

“Like others, I feel deeply shocked and saddened. I can’t believe this. Bruce taught me so much in this work and inspired me greatly. I was only recalling the other day the way he demonstrated use of metaphor in ORA in such a creative way. He embodied vision, charm and excitement for the possible. He will be so terribly missed. My condolences to all those close to him.
With much love,

Brigid Nossal

“I feel shocked and saddened at this news…and am sitting with the loss, knowing I’m not alone. With love,

Nuala Dent

“Shocked. Stunned.
My condolences to those who were close to Bruce.”

Richard Watkins

“Like all, I too feel shocked by Bruce’s sudden death.
As I sit with the news, that only this morning arrived in my inbox, I find myself recalling the experience of my most recent conversation with him, and the contribution which he made to me through that encounter. No doubt, many have similar memories.
I cannot help but think that he and his work lives on through the life of the School and the work that all of us carry forward in this world. His spirit will be ever-present in how each of us takes up our roles in this work. My hope is that he will be honoured and the world served well, by how we carry those roles.
Condolences to Bruce’s family and friends and those who knew him best.

Peter Jones

“This came up on facebook last night after I received the email of Bruce’s passing. It’s from David Whytes’ “Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.” and reflects so much of what was going through my head and heart as I tried to digest the news. My thoughts are with Bruce’s family and friends and particularly those in this system who were close to him. Love to all

is what lies beneath our feet. It is the place where we already stand; a state of recognition, the place or the circumstances to which we belong whether we wish to or not. It is what holds and supports us, but also what we do not want to be true; it is what challenges us, physically or psychologically, irrespective of our hoped for needs. It is the living, underlying foundation that tells us what we are, where we are, what season we are in and what, no matter what we wish in the abstract, is about to happen in our body, in the world or in the conversation between the two.
To come to ground is to find a home in circumstances and in the very physical body we inhabit in the midst of those circumstances and above all to face the truth, no matter how difficult that truth may be; to come to ground is to begin the courageous conversation, to step into difficulty and by taking that first step, begin the movement through all difficulties, to find the support and foundation that has been beneath our feet all along: a place to step onto, a place on which to stand and a place from which to step.”

Angela Williams

“Dear Rebekah, John, Marjoleine and all here,
I’m so sorry to hear this deeply sad and shocking news. Without understanding the circumstances, it is tragic that Bruce should die so young and in the prime of living his meaningful work in this world. As was mentioned in our recent seminar, do people really leave us when they die? Bruce will live on in so many people for many years to come. Sending love and care during this tender time, particularly to those friends and family who were close to him.

Madeleine Lyons

“All my love and heartfelt compassion at this time of sadness. Wrapping Marjoleine, John and Rebekah up in a warm golden glow each and every moment.
Love to all.

Carly Burnham

“I feel dizzy as different parts of me spin in confusion and shock, unsure of where to settle again in relation to Bruce and his spirit in the world.
I currently have no curiosity at all as to what will emerge…just a certainty and faith. An unmistakable renewal of commitment to the work.
For now, I will continue to linger on the memories, to imagine conversations and ‘what would Bruce say’, and to allow the words, thoughts and tears tumble through.
I’m very grateful to the institution of the Grubb – what it continues to enable in me, this system, and in the world. I’m deeply grateful for the Directorate and their gentle and steady stewardship.”

Olivia Margo

“Hi all. I just wanted to express my shock and sadness at hearing the news. I only met Bruce a few times, but he was a really nice guy and he obviously had a lot to contribute. He was last here just 2 months ago at one of our recent meetings at Crossfields. I remember he asked me to help him with his email setup and handed me his laptop. I had no idea he was ill. Tragic…
Wishing you all the best,

Marcus Cross
Website Administrator, Crossfields Institute

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