April 4, 2018

April blogging #A-Z 2018- E

This post is written for the April blogging A-Z 2018. I have chosen the theme 
Books and Authors for this year.


I am glad to have found an amazing author who had written so many books related to life and death.  Elisabeth Kubler Ross a Swiss American Psychiatrist and pioneer in near death studies. It is her extensive work with the dying that led her to bring out one of the finest book on Death and Dying. 

It is said that at the age of 5 Elisabeth was hospitalized with pneumonia, and she witnessed to peaceful death of her roommate – which was her first experience with death. On another occasion she watched her neighbor calmly reassuring his family as he prepared for death. Such experiences led her to believe that death is but one of many life stages and that dying and those around them should be prepared to face it with peace and dignity.

Elisabeth married a fellow medical student, she took psychiatry and one of her greatest wishes was to plan to build a hospice for infants and children infected with HIV to give them the last home where they could live until their death. She did not succeed as the local residents feared the possibility of infection.

I am very impressed with Elisabeth Kubler Ross and her suggestions about considering death to be a normal state of life and offering strategies which was very useful in helping patients and their families. Her book became popular among the medical professionals who worked with the terminally ill patients. Hospice care has subsequently been established as an alternative to hospital based care with emphasis on counseling for families of dying patients and also letting the patient depart peacefully having the families around them.

Elisabeth proposes five stages of grief as a pattern of adjustment.
 1. Denial         2.Anger           3.Bargaining    4.Depression &           5.Acceptance.

She speaks about Grief as Denial –the first stage that helps in surviving the loss. In this stage the person experiencing grief is in a state of shock and denial, not wanting to accept the loss. Elisabeth says that denial helps to pace the feelings of grief and it’s a beginning of a healing process. The one going through grief is unable to believe what has happened or happening.

The second stage according to her is the Anger – which she says is necessary and anger has no limits and could be extended to family, friends and sometimes even God.  For underneath anger is pain and the person ends up finding fault with everything.

The third stage is Bargaining with God in order to find a way out of the current situation. The person becomes aware of the losses associated with the change, and what we have to leave behind. This moves people towards a sad state, feeling low and down with less energy.

The fourth stage Depression is clearly seen by the way the person manages self, work and over all motivation is very low. The persons prefer to be alone and not socialize and cuts away all forms of activities as he/she does not feel motivated.

The fifth ie., the last stage of the grief is Acceptance – which is a kind of resignation as the person understands that fighting the change is not going to make it go away and gradually they move into a stage of acceptance.

According to her individuals experience most of these five stages, which need not be in a sequence. One day the person might feel acceptance and then anger and move towards any of the stages. She also speaks about hope running through all the stages…

I could relate to this author – for its not been easy for me to accept the loss of my mother and later on my son. It’s very difficult to explain grief, loss and sadness and unconsciously I feel these stages relevant not exactly the order mentioned – I did get angry with my mother for giving up her decision to fight back, and to God for answering her prayer,  two weeks ago I interacted with my mother  and she assured me that she will be with me in the hospital while I deliver my son. (I was in eight month of pregnancy).  

I felt cheated and lost when she died which I feel was an untimely death for I always hoped that her dreams of staying in her own house come true and her death to be peaceful and smooth exit, and not in an ICU ward.

Exactly after seven years I experience the death of my son and that led me directly to sadness and depression, fighting all the stages together and finding acceptance but still feeling the pain. By now as sense of conviction seem to have come into my life, to believe that death is inevitable and its important to focus on what matters most in life and learning to live and enjoy every moment.

It’s a thought provoking and philosophical book that would trigger a lot of questions and challenge our own thought processes as to  how we deal with important issues such as terminally illness, death & dying.

Some of the popular quotes of Elisabeth Kubler Ross

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of those depths”

People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle an d shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others, but ourselves as well”

Thank you for reading my post- I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you are participating in the A-Z April Challenge, I wish you the very best for this month.

Be Blessed & Be Happy!


  1. Loss of a loved one is never easy for anyone. I like that this book gives insights into the 5 stages of grief as a pattern of adjustment that make you truly understand that your grief is normal. Thanks for sharing about this thoughtful and thought-provoking book, Genevive.

    1. Welcome shilpa, thank you for your presence here and glad to know you like the insights given in this book.

    2. I agree with Shilpa, loss of loved one is never easy. I liked the details about Author you have shared here. It is commendable that once she wanted to build a hospice for infants and children infected with HIV, even though due to ignorance people didn't let her do the noble deed. Its surprising to see how life of people go through different shades. Thanks for the nice recommendation.

    3. I am happy to know that you liked Elisabeth Kubler Ross, yes fears, stigma, discrimination are all associated with HIV so its a real challenge even in India. I too was surprised to learn the various stages a person can be going through, now her book is part of the curriculum for those studying psychology.

  2. I am sorry to hear about the death of your son - thats the one that I feel is most difficult to get over from. How brave of you to share that Angela and hugs to you my dear!
    This books seems interesting and I have marked it for a further introspection
    Harry Potter by JK Rowling #atozchallenge

    1. Thank you Shalini for your kind words, a void and emptiness of loss will always remain,no matter how old I grow- a part of myself too departed with my child. Good that you have marked this book.


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