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On Grief and Grieving  By  cover art

On Grief and Grieving

By: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,David Kessler
Narrated by: David Kessler,Samantha Desz
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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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  • Overall
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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14 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.

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9 people found this helpful

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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.

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5 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.

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3 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.

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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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2 people found this helpful

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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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1 person found this helpful

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Currently grieving

This book helped me heal more than I thought it would have. I lost my paternal grandmother a couple of months ago, but she was also a mom to me as well since my biological mother left when I was 13. I have never felt a pain so intense in my life. This book made me process my emotions better and is definitely worth the time to listen.

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Honest Humble Courageous Compassionate

Every shade that encompasses Grief is explained without projections of guilt or subjectivity, but with humble directness wrapped in compassion. It is one’s divine right to grieve on their own terms and without time constraints. The support, comfort, and techniques provided within these pages stands head and shoulders above other books that discuss Grief. It does not minimize or take away the power that Grief has, but provides many perspectives to found our own peace in the acceptance of Grief. For anyone experiencing loss (death of a loved one, ending of a relationship, separation or termination of employment, lifestyle change, or transition of any kind) please grant yourself permission to give this book a listen. 🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️

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Really helpful while grieving my Mom

I really enjoyed this compassionate but informed look at grief. A lot of other books I’ve tried to read were too personal to the writer’s situation for me. This one was more about grief in general, but also had many wonderful examples. It is a beautifully written book & and I cherished it in the early months after my mom died. I will revisit it again and again.

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