Grief, Loss, Death & Dying

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Brief History of DeathA Commonsense Book of DeathA Message from JakieAfter SuicideAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAliveAll Alone in the UniverseAll Rivers Flow to the SeaAll Seasons PassAnd a Time to DieAt the End of WordsBefore and After LossBeing with DyingBequest and BetrayalBereftBeyond GoodbyeBeyond the Good DeathBodies in Motion and at RestCatalystComfortConfessions of a Grieving ChristianContemplative AgingCoping With TraumaCrispinDarwin's WormsDeathDeath and CompassionDeath BenefitsDeath in the ClassroomDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDeath of a ParentDeath's DoorDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDon't Go Where I Can't FollowDriving My FatherDying in the Twenty-First CenturyElegy for IrisErasing DeathEthical WillsEthics at the End of LifeEvenings at FiveExtreme MeasuresFacing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-RossFatal AttachmentsFinishing Our StoryFortress of My YouthGhost at the WindowGoing Through Hell Without Help From AboveGood GriefGoodbye RuneGraceful ExitsGrave MattersGrieving for ChildrenHealing ConversationsHello from Heaven!History of SuicideHonoring GriefHonoring the Dead and Facing DeathHow We GrieveHuman Dignity and Assisted DeathI Remain in DarknessI Wasn't Ready to Say GoodbyeIn the Wake of SuicideIt Takes a Worried ManLayoverLearning to FallLiberating LossesLife after LossLiving and Dying WellLosing Mum and PupLossLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove That DogMaking Sense of SuicideMars and Venus - Starting Over.Michael Rosen's Sad BookMortal DilemmasNight Falls FastNobody's Child AnymoreOlive's OceanOn Life After DeathOne Last Hug Before I GoOne More WednesdayParting CompanyPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthR.I.P.Reason's GriefRemembering GeorgySaying It Out LoudSeeing the CrabShooterSome Thing BlackSpeak to MeStandbyStayStill HereSuicidal ThoughtsSurviving HitlerThe Art of LosingThe AwakeningThe Boy on the Green BicycleThe Bright HourThe Cambridge Companion to Life and DeathThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Color of AbsenceThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of a ChildThe DisappearanceThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lovely BonesThe Measure of Our DaysThe Mercy PapersThe MiracleThe Modern Art of DyingThe Other Side of SadnessThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of DeathThe ScarThe TravelersThe Trick Is to Keep BreathingThe Truth About GriefThe UndertakingThe Way of TransitionThe Work of MourningTo Die WellTuesdays with MorrieUnderstanding GriefWakeWhat Dying People WantWhen Breath Becomes AirWitWrinklesYoung@Heart

Related Topics
Facing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-RossReview - Facing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
by Stefan Haupt
First Run Features, 2007
Review by Christian Perring
Aug 19th 2008 (Volume 12, Issue 34)

Stefan Haupt's documentary showing Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her declining years and reviewing her life is informative yet uncritical.  We see her in her final days in her home in the desert, living alone and feeling lonely in rural Arizona, surrounded by piles of books and old dishes.  She died in August 2004, not long after this film was made.  She talks in both English and German, switching between the two languages frequently, sometimes in the middle of a sentence.  We learn about her life as a triplet, with interviews with her 2 sisters, Eva and her identical sister and her other triplet Erika, her marriage to her American husband Manny Ross, her miscarriages and two children, her blossoming career, her subsequent divorce, and some of the strange twists and turns of her enthusiasms. 

Kübler-Ross is known in Death and Dying courses for her theory of the 5 stages of grief, and also as an initiator of the hospice movement.  While the particular theory that people proceed through 5 stages of grief has received a great deal of criticism, the general idea that we can and should try to understand how people react to the death of their loved ones or to a terminal diagnosis was very important.  Similarly, the idea that we should not always try to save people but rather help them prepare for their deaths has been a powerful counterbalance to the predominant medical attitude. 

The other themes we see in her life have been less influential and seem less interesting.  She talks about near-death experiences, and became associated with some people who even her friends and family regarded as charlatans.  She got involved with very questionable new age movements in California and then Virginia.  The documentary implies that she put her career above her family, and it gives a sense that she was not a conscientious mother.  It seems that she made many problematic choices in her life and wasn't always a good judge of character, and although she did not care much about money, she had a good deal of ego.  It may have been her stubbornness that empowered her to go against the medical establishment, but it also seemed mean that she refused to listen to reason when she started investigating unsupported religious claims about death and grieving process. 

The documentary would have been better if it had provided some critical assessment of Kübler-Ross's achievement and less verbose praise from public ceremonies.  Nevertheless, it provides insights and information that one would not get from most other sources about Kübler-Ross.  It would be a useful resource for anyone interested in the scholarly study of death and dying, and would work well in an undergraduate course.

Link: First Run Features

© 2008 Christian Perring


Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716