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Life Lessons
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About the Author

Elisabeth K bler-Ross, MD, [1926-2004] was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian, and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which first discussed The Five Stages of Grief. Elisabeth authored twenty-four books in thirty-six languages and brought comfort to millions of people coping with their own deaths or the death of a loved one. Her greatest professional legacy includes teaching the practice of humane care for the dying and the importance of sharing unconditional love. Her work continues by the efforts of hundreds of organizations around the world, including The Elisabeth K bler-Ross Foundation: EKRFoundation.org.

David Kessler is the world's foremost expert on grief. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a fulfilled life, even after life's tragedies. He coauthored On Grief and Grieving and Life Lessons with Elizabeth K bler-Ross and You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce or Death with Louise Hay. He is the author of Finding Meaning, Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms, and The Needs of the Dying, praised by Mother Teresa. David's work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Business Week, and Life Magazine, and on CNN, Fox, NBC, PBS, and CBS. David has served on the Red Cross Aviation Disaster Team and has volunteed for decades as a Los Angeles Police Department Specialist Reserve Officer. He lectures for physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders and leads talks and retreats for those dealing with grief.

Reviews

Blending the words of two authors is a precarious undertaking, particularly when the two voices are as strong and well-known as those of Kbler-Ross and hospice-care leader Kessler (The Rights of the Dying). Given the similarity in their viewpoints as experts on death and dying, this collaboration seems logical, but unfortunately the alternating entries result in repetitive, rambling prose that lacks punch. The "lessons from the edge of life" culled from the authors' patients include letting go of anger, guilt and fear; learning patience; mourning and accepting loss; playing, laughing and enjoying life; and surrendering to what can't be changed. Although some of the brief personal stories are poignant, the underlying precepts are not new. Kessler and Kbler-Ross offer only familiar aphorisms: "live every day to its fullest," "each of us has the power of the universe within us," happiness is a state of mind we can choose, suffering is an opportunity for growth, "life is a school, complete with individualized tests and challenges." Such lessons may be true and useful, but here they come off as trite. Kbler-Ross has been ill for many years, suffering two strokes that left her partially incapacitated and may have made writing difficult, but the brief glimpses into her personal journey through illness and near death cry out for elaboration. Mentions of coping with a home health-care worker who stole from her, a nurse who labeled her "combative" and friends who must help this previously vigorous woman navigate the world in a wheelchair indicate a much fuller, richer story than the expanded platitudes offered here, which are unlikely to widen either author's readership. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Patricia Devine

"The Irish Independent"This is a thought-provoking book, one which in my opinion should be made compulsory. It is insightful, inspirational, intelligent, soothing, emotive, and informative about our seemingly arbitrary existence.

Here, Kobler-Ross (On Death and Dying) and Kessler (The Rights of the Dying), two of the most renowned leaders in America's hospice movement, tackle the big issuesDlove, power, anger, and forgiveness and offer wisdom gleaned from their own lives and those of their clients. Their ideas flow together well as they present a dynamic and integrated philosophy. Moreover, they both share their own unique stories and viewpoints to illustrate the ideas presented in each chapter. Kbler-Ross's authentic, down-to-earth manner unabashedly reveals her own triumphs and weaknesses, especially after a debilitating stroke. A spiritual theme underlies many of the lessons, but the authors avoid the controversial issues presented in Kobler-Ross's previous work, The Wheel of Life. (There, Kobler-Ross claims to have undergone out-of-body experiences, meetings with spirit guides, and visions of fairies.) As in each of their previous individual works, the authors provide useful and accessible information and will find ample readership in public as well as academic libraries. Annette Haines, Central Michigan Univ. Libs., Mount Pleasant Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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