On Death & Dying


As an exploration of some of our key emotional responses to dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s book On Death and Dying, initially published in 1969, remains one of the most fascinating observations and reflections of this final phase of our life.

For ease of discussion, Dr Kübler-Ross suggested there were several common stages we go through in the death process: Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

These stages are not hard and fast, for instance some people will start at depression, whilst others may not go through all five stages at all.

By listening to, and encouraging others to do the same, Dr Kübler-Ross highlighted an important need of the dying. That is their need to be listened to and to be heard.

When the opportunity of listening to the dying is taken, it helps them psychologically and emotionally during their dying process, and it also assists those close to the dying person in coming to terms with their loss.

All in all a thought provoking and highly recommended book:


© David R. Durham

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