Quirky Books: On Grief and Grieving by Kubler-Ross and Kessler

Friday, January 14, 2011

On Grief and Grieving by Kubler-Ross and Kessler

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is one of the most celebrated psychiatrists and authors of the 20th Century after identifying the "Five Stages of Grief;" also known as, "Five Stages of Loss." David Kessler is an esteemed Medical Doctor who was able to assist Kubler with his own Near-Death Studies. Everyone learns about this concept, because it is a foundation to dealing with change. In Business College, it is utilized in a wide array of application from helping people adjust to computer upgrades, handling lay-offs, getting a promotion or traveling abroad.

The Five Stages of Loss are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Each emotional level of grief is important to regaining a sense of self and being able to carry on with life. These stages do not always occur in order and a person does not experience all of them. The book explains each in detail so a person is to accept others struggling with loss and adept to recognizing it in themselves.

This book "On Grief and Grieving" provides additional stories related to the death of a loved one or dying. Stories explain various emotions a person might experience when someone they know or they are preparing for their own demise. One section talks about relief. Frequently when people are ready to die, there is a sense of relief when understanding they will be freed from pain or hardships through natural death. This sounds harsh; yet feeling ashamed of thoughts and emotions blocks a person's mind from healing. Recognizing it is as a natural response helps a person continue to cope with grief so they may live their own life again.

Finding the issue of relief fascinating, someone close to me committed suicide when I was a teen. Living around them almost constantly, it was easy to see how upset they were about everything. In addition to being a threat to themselves, on occasion they were a threat to others.

One day they punched a hole through the wall because they thought someone wanted to make them go insane. People were washing their laundry. We tried to convince them see a psychologist, because they hadn't done anything illegal. On the way to the hospital, they took their own life. There were many reasons: they were afraid of being labeled negatively or did not want to actually harm anyone. The initial reaction for most was, "Glad that's over, I really didn't know what to do next;" or "They are probably happy now."

It seems harmless, yet tiny thoughts get stuck in our heads. If unable to review the information it remains in our subconscious and may take form though a variety of actions. They made the choice to stop fussing with life. It always bothered me and if someone was aggressive about how I should think or feel I would get angry or stopped thinking about everything that should have been learned. A stressful situation was over, yet life without them is not better. They will be missed and all their friends and family they left behind are devastated.

An excellent book, the stories open new thoughts without being abrasive. Not every story applies to a personal issue of loss. However, even if the loss is not death it is nice flipping through to learn about yourself and others. Everyone should read the book. Everyone is as susceptible to change, loss or death, so it will be nice to have around whenever experiencing deeper introspective moments.

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