Elisabeth Kubler Ross was
born in 1926 in Zurich, Switzerland and died
of natural causes in 2004 in Arizona. Her
ground breaking and bestselling book, On
Death and Dying, (1969) did much to
change the treatment of terminally ill
patients. She was compelled to write
it while working as a doctor in hospitals in
New York, Colorado and Chicago, where she
was appalled by the standard treatment for
dying patients: 'They were shunned and
abused; nobody was honest with them.'
Ross' five psychological stages of dying
Denial - At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts.
Anger - The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt, or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
Bargaining - Bargaining often takes place before the loss. Attempting to make deals with the spouse who is leaving, or attempting to make deals with God to stop or change the loss. Begging, wishing, praying for them to come back.
Depression - The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
Acceptance - This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.
This article is from the April 6, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.
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