On Death & Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Book Review #15)

Summary

“One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sample interviews and conversations, she gives readers a better understanding of how imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient’s family, bringing hope to all who are involved.” – by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

Review

Dr. Ross takes us on an adventure with many research and interviews, opening our eyes to the world where, let’s be frank, most of us do not wish to think about, let alone deal with. What can you do or say to comfort someone that you know is dying? How do you deal with this situation? And how can you survive after the loss?

The initial impression you may get when you look at this book is to feel that, it is going to be one depressing encounter. Talking about death and dying, losing your loved one, stages of death and the psychological impact it has on both, you and your precious one, are not easy topics to discuss.

However, fear not, surprisingly this book makes you calmer and more relaxed about ever having to deal with a situation like this, or if you are already in one, then you will feel more in control.

 

‘Control’ in my opinion, is one the most important factors that affect human nature behavior. Once you know that the power of control has been taken away from you, your reaction can no longer be calculated or foreseen. I will give you an example. When a Mother loses her young or has a terminally ill child. She has no control anymore over protecting her loved one. The universal motherly love is to protect her young. Having no control takes away any condition she felt she had. Hence, the mother feels anger, starts bargaining, gets depressed, finally accepts yet secretly has hope and then finally, she has to let it go.

These are five stages that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross discusses in detail with examples of real life situations in her book.

I recommend this book to anyone that wishes to know more about the psychology of death and dying, and if you have a terminally ill loved one or have recently lost someone special.

Written by Jeyran Main

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18 replies »

  1. Good Morning, Dr. Ross has two other books recently published that also help in understanding loss and grief. This book does help people with loss.

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  2. What a lovely reading voice you have, Jeyran! This book was one assigned during high school & it’s forever left its mark on me – an excellent choice to expose more readers to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth K-R was a pioneer in her field. A tiny French dynamo, she was passionate about her work. She was denigrated, misunderstood until she finally received due recognition for her amazing work. Her work has informed the way health professionals deal with death and dying. It ‘normalised’ a taboo subject and validated peoples’ experiences, empowering them to come to grips with what was happening in their world. It formed part of the curriculum when I was studying to be a nurse. Sadly, at the end of her life she once again was shunned as her beliefs and philosophy leaned more towards the esoteric. She developed dementia and died a lonely death if memory serves me right.

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  4. Thank you for reminding me to read this book. It’s been recommended to me multiple times and it’s sitting on my shelf…like so many other great books. I do think quite often about her 5 stages of reaching acceptance and it’s been very helpful staring what I thought was going to be my own death straight in the face a ew years ago. Fortunately, it turned out acceptance wasn’t going to be part of the deal and I had to accept that while I wasn’t entirely better, I wasn’t dead, dying or somewhere in between. That was an interesting and also challenging process towards acceptance as well!
    Thanks for following my blog.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey there Old Sport! I’m K&L, the Author, Publisher & CEO of The Millionaire’s Digest, I just want to apologize for not being able to publish your articles fast enough on The Millionaire’s Digest. Once you have a team that’s grown to more than 300+ people in less than 6 months, and are constantly uploading posts every day, you can bet how hard it is to keep up with everything. Plus, you have to add college and preparing to launch a magazine in there as well, which brings me to my next point Old Sport.

    I would just like to ask you before I get ready to have our magazine published if you would still like to be in it. I mean, I don’t want you to if it’s something you don’t want to do, because I know I wouldn’t like it if someone made me do something I didn’t want to do either. But I mean, I just wanted to let you know and give you the chance so you don’t feel left out!

    Sincerely,
    K&L

    Like

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