On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On Death and Dying is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' discourse on the psychological stages of grief before and after death. Ross headed a study in the 1960s where she and a team of students, doctors, and clergy interviewed patients who were suffering from various maladies with low to fair prognosis. Some of these patients knew they were in the end stages of life, others did not. Some interviewed were family members of the patients. Ross covered the various stages of death and grief and the effects on patients, family, and attending medical staff. Some were able to handle news of their prognosis better than others. Some were reluctant to talk, but all opened up once the questions began and felt better to have their stories told, their fear vocalized, and their hearts opened. It became evident that all wanted and needed to talk, even if it was just to open themselves to the inevitable.
This is a classic book written in the 60s but many of the lessons still ring true today. Everyone handles death and grief a little different but most go through the basic stages of denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Having recently lost my father and having lost my mother many years before, I realize that each died in much the same way and I now know that when it was time they were ready and were peaceful.
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