On Grief and Grieving

Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss

On Grief and Grieving

Shortly before her death in 2004, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, her collaborator, completed the manuscript for this, her final book. On Grief and Grieving is a fitting completion to her work. Thirty-six years and sixteen books ago, Kübler-Ross's groundbreaking On Death and Dying changed the way we talk about the end of life. Now On Grief and Grieving will profoundly influence the way we experience the process of grief.
On Death and Dying began as a theoretical book, an interdisciplinary study of our fear of death and our inevitable acceptance of it. It introduced the world to the now-famous five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On Grief and Grieving applies these stages to the process of grieving and weaves together theory, inspiration, and practical advice, all based on Kübler-Ross's and Kessler's professional and personal experiences, and is filled with brief, topic-driven stories. It includes sections on sadness, hauntings, dreams, coping, children, healing, isolation, and even the subject of sex during grief.
"I know death is close," Kübler-Ross says at the end of the book, "but not quite yet. I lie here like so many people over the years, in a bed surrounded by flowers and looking out a big window....I now know that the purpose of my life is more than these stages....It is not just about the life lost but also the life lived."
In one of their final writing sessions, Kübler-Ross told Kessler, "The last nine years have taught me patience, and the weaker and more bed-bound I become, the more I'm learning about receiving love."
On Grief and Grieving is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's final legacy, one that brings her life's work profoundly full circle.
  • Scribner | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743274500 | 
  • July 2005

Articles About This Book


Posted on Tips on Healthy Living

Posted by Emily Shetler

Grief is a part of life, so goes the old saying. But when you're in the middle of it, whether it's a result of losing a loved one or perhaps another kind of loss like a layoff or divorce, it is easy to feel alone. It can seem like no one has ever...

More Books from this Author

On Death and Dying
Life Lessons
The Wheel of Life
Life Lessons

About the Authors

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Photo Credit: Ken Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, [1926–2004] was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian, and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which first discussed The Five Stages of Grief. Elisabeth authored twenty-four books in thirty-six languages and brought comfort to millions of people coping with their own deaths or the death of a loved one. Her greatest professional legacy includes teaching the practice of humane care for the dying and the importance of sharing unconditional love. Her work continues by the efforts of hundreds of organizations around the world, including The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation: EKRFoundation.org.


David Kessler

David Kessler is the coauthor of Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living. On his own, he is the author of The Needs of the Dying, which received praise from Mother Teresa and has been translated into eleven languages. He is a nationally recognized leader in the field of hospice and palliative care.