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On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss Paperback – June 5, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 333 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Elisabeth Kübler-Ross left us one last gift, and it's a masterpiece. She and grief expert David Kessler have written a modern classic, the kind of book that all of us will want to keep on our bookshelves because we know it speaks to our deepest hearts." -- Marianne Williamson

"On Grief and Grieving is a heartfelt tribute to all who have lost a loved one from a woman who changed our lives by changing our relationship to death and dying. What a wonderful book Elisabeth and David have written." -- Caroline Myss

About the Author

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, [1926–2004] was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian, and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which first discussed The Five Stages of Grief. Elisabeth authored twenty-four books in thirty-six languages and brought comfort to millions of people coping with their own deaths or the death of a loved one. Her greatest professional legacy includes teaching the practice of humane care for the dying and the importance of sharing unconditional love. Her work continues by the efforts of hundreds of organizations around the world, including The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation: EKRFoundation.org.

David Kessler is the coauthor of Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living. On his own, he is the author of The Needs of the Dying, which received praise from Mother Teresa and has been translated into eleven languages. He is a nationally recognized leader in the field of hospice and palliative care.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743266293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743266291
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (333 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on October 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So often when we grieve people who have not experienced similar losses try to offer us suggestions of why the death made sense, why we shouldn't feel so bad, and that we should get over grieving and just move on with our lives. While sometimes those suggestions are good, and worthwhile, often we look back at others and think, you could not know how I feel. This book does a wonderful job of exploring the flood of emotions you feel after you lose someone.

This book goes through in depth the stages of grieving and the misconnecptions that we may have about those stages. For example, acceptance does not mean, we are ok, and moving on without our loved one. In reality, it is knowing they have passed away and adjusting our lives around that loss, and guess what, you don't have to like moving on. I like how this book helps you explore the palette of grief that we all have with the deaths of loved ones.

I honestly found myself weeping and remembering the deaths of my loved ones that I had recently lost. It was refreshing to read that the depth of the loss of my loved ones was normal, healthy, and even healing. I liked that in the forward the author felt that if he didn't lose sleep over writing the book, you would never lose sleep when reading the book. I can't recommmend this book enough for those who have lost loved ones. This book is a real blessing in the healing process of the death of a loved one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a widower for ten years, this book is the best yet on the grief and grieving process. Good practical information. Not an academic type of publication. I have read many such books since my spouse died.

Another excellent book is C.S. Lewis' "A Grief Observed".
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Format: Hardcover
On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler is a must-read book, a compelling page-turner for me, that provides profound insights into the necessity that we must properly grieve the passing of our loved ones.

As pointed out by the authors, the grieving process is not instinctual for us; it requires learning. It is particularly important that as adults that we don't forget to teach our young about grieving, for if a child doesn't grieve in an appropriate way for him or her, that repressed grief may surface years later, a phenomenon that sometimes happens to adults as well.

The book is very humane and compassionate and "teaches with short, clear and concrete stories" that analyze some of the many possible surrounding circumstances that others have faced in losing loved ones. Potentially, we and the people we know could face such circumstances as well. In addition, with these stories, the authors provide relevant and insightful advice and the reasons for that advice.

The authors state that, "if you do not take the time to grieve, you cannot find a future in which loss is remembered and honored without pain." They remind us that we will never forget our loss of a loved one and that we will never be the same; they also remind us that we can learn, when our own individual timetable suggests, that it may be possible to find "renewed meaning" in our lives. This renewed meaning will continue to include, "loving memories and honor for those we have lost."

I highly recommend that you read this book and that you give it to others, as personal circumstances "dictate.
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Format: Paperback
When my father died of aortic stenosis six weeks ago, I was devastated. I had not anticipated my loss to be felt as intensely, for my grief to be so deeply experienced, so raw and debilitating. Having been a Masters-degreed level social worker for 28 years I knew, however, that reading books about grieving, seeking out grief counseling and attending bereavement groups would be profoundly healing experiences for me. Dr Kubler-Ross's and David Kessler's book ON GRIEF and GRIEVING has been the sixth book I have read about grieving and it has been the most helpful. Their stating "we believe with all our hearts that even in death, our loved one still exists..and that "the body is just a coat, a suit of clothes that we wear during our lifetime...a shell, a cocoon..." helped me like you would not believe. I had suffered a great deal of guilt about not being as helpful and supportive to my father as I wish I could have been in his final days. The book touched my core by giving me permission to forgive myself, that regret is a part of loss and that "no matter how much you did for your loved one, how much you cared for them and loved them, there will always be something else." The book concludes that "the pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking BECAUSE in loving we deeply connect with another human being and grief is the REFLECTION of the connection that has been lost. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain. That pain and our love are connected forever. To avoid the pain of loss would be to avoid the love and life we shared." I, therefore, STRONGLY recommend this book to ALL who grieve the loss of a loved one and have a need to be comforted. The Bible itself says "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." This book IS one of the ways that one can feel that comfort.
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