“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
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.