In this groundbreaking new work, David Kessler—an expert on grief and the coauthor with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross of the iconic On Grief and Grieving—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 earned through decades of work with the grieving, Kessler introduces a critical sixth stage.
Many people look for “closure” after a loss. Kessler argues that it’s finding meaning beyond the stages of grief most of us are familiar with—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—that can transform grief into a more peaceful and hopeful experience.
In this book, Kessler gives readers a roadmap to remembering those who have died with more love than pain; he shows us how to move forward in a way that honors our loved ones. 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 state of grief—meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss.
Finding Meaning is a necessary addition to grief literature and a vital guide to healing from tremendous loss. This is an inspiring, deeply intelligent must-read for anyone looking to journey away from suffering, through loss, and towards meaning.
David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on healing 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.
He is the author of six bestselling books. His new book is Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. His first book, The Needs of the Dying, a #1 best-selling hospice book, received praise by (Saint) Mother Teresa. He co-authored two bestsellers with the legendary Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: On Grief and Grieving and Life Lessons. His most newly released book is You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After Breakup, Divorce or Death with Louise Hay. He worked with Elizabeth Taylor, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Marianne Williamson when their loved ones faced life-challenging illnesses. He also worked with late actors Anthony Perkins and Michael Landon. David’s work has been discussed in the Los Angeles Times, Business Week and Life Magazine, and has been featured on “Brené Brown, CNN-Cross Fire”, NBC, Fox, PBS, “Dr. Oz” and “Entertainment Tonight”. David is a contributing writer on Oprah.com, Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com, “Anderson Cooper 360” and “The Huffington Post”.
David has a master’s degree in Health Care Bioethics from Loyola Marymount University, he did his undergraduate work at University of Southern California and is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives. He is a certified AMA/EPEC (Education for Physicians) trainer. He also is the founding chairperson for the Hospital Association of Southern California Palliative Care Committee and spent the last decade as a C-suite executive in a 650 bed – three hospital system in Los Angeles County.
Financial: David Kessler receives compensation as Vice President of Patient Support Services for Citrus Valley Health Partners. He is an author for Simon & Schuster – New York and receives royalties. Mr. Kessler receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Nonfinancial: David Kessler has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.
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