by

On Death and Dying

  • Title: On Death and Dying
  • Author: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Softcover: 288
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (June 9, 1997)
  • ISBN: 068483938

I read this book for two reasons. First, the company I work for is going through significant changes – I fear these changes will cause intense reactions not unlike the five stages of dying popularized by Ms Kubler-Ross. As I was noting these stages to a colleague, she said she’d like to read the book. As we were chatting on MSN, I went to Amazon, ordered the book and told her that she could read it when I was finished.

I’m glad I read this book. It helped me understand some of my own feelings around dying; I visited my grandmother on my dad’s side just before she died, and we cared for my father at home until he passed away (for about 6 months). These experiences left me with lots of questions, and this book does help with some answers. I’ve also had some intense periods of my life with significant life changes at once (I had four of the top five life changes in one year – moving, marriage, death of a parent, and job change).

But, the book is too long. There are pages of verbatim interviews with patients; I would have preferred a synopsis and more results.

Here is Kubler-Ross’s graph of the five stages of dying:

The five stages of dying; I believe these are the five stages of significant life change.

The text discusses when itsappropriate to talk with a person and when to let them push you away for a while and how to recognize acceptance, which are all important for caregivers to deal with. Anger is probably the hardest part – its important to be caring and to understand that the anger is usually a redirection from some other thing bothering the person.

I highly recommend this book!

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