In this groundbreaking and “poignant” (Los Angeles Times) book, David Kessler—praised for his work by Maria Shriver, Marianne Williamson, and Mother Teresa—journeys beyond the classic five stages to discover a sixth stage: meaning.
In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first identified the stages of dying in her transformative book On Death and Dying. Decades later, she and David Kessler wrote the classic On Grief and Grieving, introducing the stages of grief with the same transformative pragmatism and compassion. Now, based on hard-earned personal experiences, as well as knowledge and wisdom gained through decades of work with the grieving, Kessler introduces a critical sixth stage: meaning.
Kessler’s insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. How does the grief expert handle such a tragic loss? He knew he had to find a way through this unexpected, devastating loss, a way that would honor his son. That, ultimately, was the sixth stage of grief—meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss.
“Beautiful, tender, and wise” (Katy Butler, author of The Art of Dying Well), Finding Meaning is “an excellent addition to grief literature that helps pave the way for steps toward healing” (School Library Journal).
David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even after life’s tragedies.
He is the author of six books, including his latest bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. He co-authored two books with Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Life Lessons and On Grief and Grieving, updating her 5 stages for grief. He also co-wrote, You Can Heal Your Heart with Louise Hay. He authored Visions Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die. His first book, The Needs of The Dying received praise from Saint (Mother) Teresa.
David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. However, despite his vast knowledge of grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.
David’s volunteer work includes being a founding member of Project Angel Food, a well-known and loved non-profit organization. He currently serves on the board of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation which provides cancer research, patient assistance, and prevention efforts. He also serves as Specialist Reserve for the Los Angeles Police as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team.
He has a new online model of grief support called Tender Hearts with over 25 groups each as well as one of the most respected Grief Certification programs. He is the founder of www.grief.com, which receives millions of visits yearly providing helpful resources to over 167 countries.
Financial: David Kessler is the is the co-founder and President Emeritus of Project Angel Food. He is a published author and receives royalties. David Kessler receives a speaking honorarium and recording and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: David Kessler is a board member for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. He is a team member of the Health Care Executives of Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Red Cross.
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