On death and dying

by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Paperback, 1969



Call number




London : Tavistock Publications, 1969.

User reviews

LibraryThing member maiadeb
Modern Americans have negated grief and this book reminds us it is a living, tangible reaction to loss. Loss of one's own life or anothers...it occurs whether acknowledged or not and the process is a given. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross writes with empathy, wisdom and concrete eveidence. A classic in wholistic writing.
LibraryThing member dmstraker
The classic on grief. Significant also in any form of change which is perceived negatively.
LibraryThing member _________jt_________
Interesting and insightful, though the frequent bouts of nostalgia for third-world-style health care get a little annoying.
LibraryThing member AlexPearson
This is a very thought provoking and thorough book on the subject of death. It helped me to stop thinking of death in terms of something to be avoided, and more in terms of something that will happen just as surely as birth happened. It is not just anecdotal, there is a lot of "data" to back up the different claims.
LibraryThing member tole_lege
This is the book that started so much debate, and includes the idea of five stages of mourning (which is then applied all over the place to different things).

Interesting, readable. Whether or not grief works like that, I don't know.
LibraryThing member rmyoung
This is THE book on death and dying.
LibraryThing member scubasue59
THE book on the subject, which should be read in a positive way by all. An amazing woman.
LibraryThing member jmcdbooks
Rated: B
Classic work becoming a little dated with the passage of time and shifts in social norms. Her research and writings were in the 60's. Today, the awareness or disinterest in dying and death make it less taboo; however, we all will face it in our own way someday. Experiencing the death of my daugher and parents as well as various friends over the years allowed me to relate to many situations she revealed. While I was familiar with the five stages, what I didn't know was her observation that Hope transcends all stages.

"The one thing that usually persists through all these stages is hope. Just as children in Barracks L 318 and L 417 in the concentaration camp of Terezin maintained their hope years ago, although out of a total of about 15,000 children under fifteen years of age only around 100 came out of it alive.

The sun has made a veil of gold
So lovely that my body aches
Above, the heavens shriek with blue
Convinced I've smiled by some mistake.
The world's abloom and seems to smile.
I want to fly but where, how high?
If in barbed wire, things can bloom
Why couldn't I I will not die!
1944, Anonymous
"On a Sunny Evening"
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LibraryThing member dbsovereign
A must read for therapists and others who counsel folk dealing with the grieving process. Takes us through the various stages in the process and exposes us to how different people react to death/dying in different ways.
LibraryThing member awomanonabike
I was recently at a talk given by Claire Tomalin, the biographer, who told us that the best advice her mother-in-Law had ever given her was to remember that our unconscious can’t accept that we are mortal. This is at the heart of this book and how our conscious mind has to be allowed to navigate the way when we we are dying.

This book was one of those recommended texts when I was a medical student and I’m very familiar with her “stages of grief” but I had never actually read this book before. It is dated in many ways and I struggled a bit with the gendered writing, but it still has a lot to say to us. This is especially true currently when we seem unable to say that someone has died but refer to their passing or some other way of avoiding the terms death and dying, which is hardly going to help.
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LibraryThing member smallself
Aside from the universal masculine pronoun tic little has changed.

I guess what strikes me most about the book is how narrative it is; even though I still classify it as non-narrative because of how it’s all summarized and organized and so on, and even made into a theory, to a certain extent, but because of the denial and the ignorance and so on, in our society, the general attitude towards the church and the inability of people to give answers to ultimate questions, and really the ignorance—I don’t know what else you’d call it(*)— there’s generally a reluctance to hear people say, Here’s how it is: especially if it’s not the old family church in its narrow slice of society, but quite often that isn’t enough, and there’s a reluctance to plunge into the gap and say, But I know!

So the teacher asks the student, instead of the student asking the teacher; that’s a very common pattern in the secular West today.

.... I’m not saying I blame her; it just is the way it is. Today if you present someone with someone who’s just sorta calm and neutral, and aspires to teach them something they don’t know, that alone can be enough to set them off, especially if it’s more likely to activate bad memories of the old family church in some way, rather than getting in with something that we don’t have to deny because it will make us more money immediately or amuse us for twenty seconds immediately, you know.


(*) “It appeared that the more training a physician had, the less he was ready to become involved in this type of work.” So the pattern was actually a tendency to get worse, the more involved one became with medical culture.
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LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
A study of how people react towards death. The commonly known 'five-stages' model is outlined here, and many case studies and examples and described in depth. Morbid and necessary reading, to understand the psychology of our own grief and extinction.

Original publication date



0422754900 / 9780422754903

Call number



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