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Publisher's Summary

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 16 books ago, Kübler-Ross' 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' 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.

©2005 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: Comforting Audiobooks About Grief and Loss That Actually Help


When it comes to the death of a loved one, there is no easy path forward. Grieving can place significant mental strain on those who are mourning. And because everyone grieves a little differently, it can be hard to know where to turn for help, or what to say to someone who is in the throes of grief. Audiobooks on grief can offer insight to those looking for ways to support the mourning, or a bit of comfort for anyone struggling with loss themselves.

What listeners say about On Grief and Grieving

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Profoundly valuable

My father died very suddenly and I found all the emotions overwhelming, this book has really changed all the chaos into some meaningful process that I can now allow and understand.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent content

Excellent content.
Samantha Desz was a great reader-interpreter. David Kessler, although he wrote the words, and no doubt understood them completely, did not express or read them well. His voice was difficult to listen to and he didn’t have the smoothness and clarity that the female reader had. I wish editors- producers understood the importance of using trained vocal performers for audible programs. Even if the author wants to read their own work, I don’t believe they are always the best choice.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Supportive book. Required reading for the soul and spirit to heal.

Excellent book, it is filled with love and kindness. It is totally supportive, soothing, compassionate and understanding, and is the magic tool to help begin to grieve our great and tremendous losses in life...thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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If you fear death after loss, DON'T READ.

This book is just a bunch of stories about people grieving. There is really little to no advice on how to grieve or move forward. The book really stresses that there is no one way to do that, which is kind of nice. It has some insight. But if you experience a lot of fear and anxiety around death as a result of your loss or losses, this book is not for you. Some of the stories about how people died so tragically and oddly made me even more terrified of death. I bought this book thinking I could feel more healed or get some hope, but all I got was more fear of death.

2 people found this helpful

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Profound understanding about grief

This book is the best to understand grief thoroughly I have ever read. It describes the pain I am going though and I am not along. It touched all my nerves with sympathy. It assured me i can never get over the pain, but carry it over, although I missed my dad badly.

2 people found this helpful

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Comforting and enlightening

After losing my husband of 20 years, I was lost and overwhelmed. This book helped me to understand what I was feeling and to resist labeling my grief and trying to explain how I feel to friends and family.

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This book helped heal my heart

I lost my Brother in 2019 and my nephew, his son, in 2021. This book helped heal my heart. The writing is beautiful and the performance is really lovely and easy to listen to. I listened to this book three times in a row. I recommend it to anyone who is dealing with the grief of losing someone you love to death.

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This book is amazing!

This book made me feel not alone and it gave me tons of insight.

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10/10 recommend ❤️💫

Loved this book, so many stories that were very relatable in my experiences of loss helping me to see that what I had experienced and am experiencing is normal and that I’ll be ok. 🙏🏼🥰❤️

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Very eye opening

I am a new bereavement counselor and wanted to gain some better Understanding, besides my own personal experience. This book is very eye opening on grief. It looks at all angles of grief and grieving which is very helpful.

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  • Kkaren
  • 07-29-20

Helpful

This book was recommended to me as I struggled to accept the stagnant feeling of grief. The steps or stages of grief are explained and even though I bought the hard copy book, I lacked the concentration levels to actually read it so Audible books came to mind and it really helped having it read to me. I can’t say I feel better, I am grieving and will be for a while. But, I do accept the path I’m on, the feelings, emotions and stress that I have daily are easier to accept when you can understand why you are feeling this way. I recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t grieved or is struggling with grief.

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  • zoe hiles
  • 08-22-20

loved it

I am so glad I listened to this book. I listened to one chapter a day.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MB
  • 06-04-20

Thought provoking

Didn't really find the book interesting but nonetheless it made me think about a range of situations and possibilities. At one point it felt that there was too many references to religion, which I found somewhat off putting, however this didn't not continue throughout the whole book. Introduction to the concept of the five stages of a loss was a key part and can be read as a standalone piece for those who do not want to read the full book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Darren Meadows-Jackson
  • 01-11-20

Brilliant.

This is a great book. As a student counsellor I found this book very informative, very interesting and educative.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. P.
  • 04-07-19

Excellent book for anyone who is grieving.

Excellent book to read anyone who is grieving or wants to learn about grieving to support others. This book has helped me to understand my own grieving.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-20

Helping with grief

This is a great book for anyone that has lost someone . It help you work on emotions about loss you didn’t know you had .