Most helpful positive review
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A straightforward and compassionate follow-up to On Death and Dying.
on August 15, 2005
Questions & Answers on Death and Dying is an extremely helpful resource to those who are bereaved or are on the cusp of being so. It is also a good introductory book, as was its predecessor-On Death and Dying-to the area of counseling psychology, specifically thanatology, the study of death and dying, for there are many issues in the dying process that are addressed: nonverbal symbolic language, prolongation of life, sudden death, suicide and terminal illness, fear, faith and hope to old age and just plain coping. Encompassed in the very latter, coping-wise, is not simply the patient and family but also the medical staff. The dynamics of dying have a process and to witness a loved one going through that process is obviously painful; it is the agonizing but inevitable hurt that no one wants to go through. But it can and will make the living stronger. This work in particular is helpful in many respects, because it is not necessarily a "how-to" guide on how to grieve or cope; it simply tries to answer the most fundamental and frequently asked questions that people have in respects to death and dying, i.e. emotional and physical pain, loneliness, anger against God and healthy people and finding some caliber of meaningfulness in their life while simultaneously being in the throes of the dying process. The questions asked are sincere, moving and eloquent. The dam of curiosity is opened, and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross eloquently answers all questions, even ones we would not even think of asking. Her insightful and kindhearted responses go to the core of what we're all essentially curious about; she herself admits that in doing this work, it has created a religious belief system that she believed was nonexistent, as one question illustrates: "In all your research on death, what is your personal belief of what happens after death?" "Before I started working with dying patients, I did not believe in a life after death. I now do believe in a life after death, beyond a shadow of a doubt." What is so nice about this book is that it is a gap filler to the first book. What Elizabeth Kubler-Ross started with in On Death and Dying, the general public-the living and the dying (by their questions)-completed with Questions & Answers on Death and Dying; it went full circle, and it reads as such. This is a valuable work to have. Many, many topics are addressed, and there is no compassionate condescension or nihilistic overtones, just truth, information and loving understanding.