Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief” as Want to Read:
Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

by
4.41  ·  Rating details ·  574 ratings  ·  112 reviews
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 wr
...more
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Scribner
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Finding Meaning, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Laurie I haven't read 'On Grief and Grieving', and I absolutely loved 'Finding Meaning.' So, no, I don't think you need to read that one first. I'm about six…moreI haven't read 'On Grief and Grieving', and I absolutely loved 'Finding Meaning.' So, no, I don't think you need to read that one first. I'm about six years out from my biggest grief event though.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  574 ratings  ·  112 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
Robyn
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5? There is some really good stuff in here but I just can't say it's particularly well-written. Quite a few typos as well which was surprising. Maybe a bit of a publication rush.

On Grief and Grieving (the 5 stages book that DK co-authored) was really formative for me and this is sort of supposed to be "the sequel". I have noticed in my own life how important meaning is, as a later stage of grief. I couldn't quite connect how all the different parts of the book related back to meaning, though,
...more
Joanne Mcleod
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In being a physician and having spent a lot of time dedicated to Oncology and Palliative care, I have been very aware of and read some of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross writings on death and dying, as well as the five stages of grief. But for some reason I only became aware of David Kessler in reading his book, “Finding Meaning”. I always felt there was something missing in dealing with grief, especially at a personal level. I found the missing link in David’s writing about the sixth stage of grief, ...more
Natalie Aguirre
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to help you find meaning in life after the loss for someone you love. I have been struggling with this since I lost my husband, and I am starting to look at how I go on in life in a different way since reading this book. There are specific chapters on losing a child, losing someone to suicide, and losing someone to a drug overdose that may be helpful to people in this situation. Really recommend this book.
Cathy Cheshire
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartfelt Hope and Loving Inspiration

I wish there were more books like this where grief education is enveloped in hope about the possibility to fully live when we are ready, especially after feeling despair wants to keep us lost in darkness. Although every grief journey is different, I believe the genuine sharing of grief experience and how we can go on as David lovingly expresses, can inspire so many to find their own way after loss. We can feel less alone and an easing of the terror that every
...more
Tiffany Rose
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Meaning is about finding meaning in the loss of a loved one, but I feel it can be used for any type of great loss that effects us greatly that we grieve over, such as the ending of a long term relationship. This book is beautifully written and fently guides you to find meanjng from loss. It shows you the importance of finding meaning and also tells stories of others who have found meaning from the loss of those close to them. It is a good read.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the pub
...more
Jasmine
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was great. I am five years out from my husband passing away, and I still found this helpful. David Kessler co-authored the book about the Five Stages of Grief, and he introduces Finding Meaning as the sixth stage. His insights are great and the stories are really helpful. Highly recommend.
Cristie Underwood
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book while struggling with the sudden loss of my grandfather a few years ago. Despite it being years, I have had a hard time. Thanks to the author of this book, I now understand that I was searching for meaning as to why this death occurred. It has been helpful looking back on my times with my grandfather with love vs pain. I highly recommend this book to anyone else struggling with grief.
Ross
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-book
Best book I ever read on grieving. I’m a psychotherapist and I’ll be referring clients to it. I found the narrated version extra helpful, hearing David’s voice and empathy in every story. David models wonderful thoughts and phrases that enable presence in the face of a lifetime of grief.
Kent Winward
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The book contains a good amount of information on dealing with grief. Not a lot of philosophical depth and I got a bit sick of the name dropping, but overall helpful in looking at how we handle grief and the addition of meaning as an additional stage makes a lot of sense.
Gina
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure that it gave me anything knew. I also question some of his sources, especially Williamson and Frankl. However, he does still know a lot about grieving, and the book would probably be helpful for people struggling with that, while being more accessible than some deeper books.
Andrea
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
As much as I admire David Kessler and his work, I didn't love this book as much as I wanted to. I skipped over a lot of it, because the stories of his patients were too upsetting and I really just wanted the "advice" without the "examples". I particularity found the chapter on suicide helpful even though I lost my dad to suicide back in 1992. I was really reading this book because of losing my husband in 2019. Most of it was okay, but one section upset me, and that was the section on having a fu ...more
Melissa
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read many books on grief over the last almost five years, I feel like this book is helping me finally turn a corner. Everything Does Not happen for a reason. We can find meaning, however, even in the face of heartbreaking loss and grief.

“You heal when you can remember those who have died with more love than pain, when you find a way to create meaning in your own life in a way that will honor theirs.”

“We often believe that grief will grow smaller in time. It doesn’t. We must grow bigger We
...more
David
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No one taught me "grieving." It's almost always something you're forced to learn when something terrible happens. Also, reading a book will never make you an experienced griever or in any way make grieving okay. But there is tremendous merit in thinking ahead about what grieving looks like, listening to other people's stories, and reframing the way you think about grief and pain. Kessler is not only a great writer and counselor, a few years ago he lost his own 21 year old son. He reflects about ...more
Sue
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I discovered this book through a podcast by Brene Brown (whom I highly recommend). This book focuses on the loss of a loved one but the principles could be applied to the loss of a job or life as we know it. Another book I'm glad I read.
Catherine
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Great on audio.
MARGIE KRUEGER
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for someone who has been through the stages of grief and is looking for meaning in their life now. I found it very helpful and will reread it.
(Alice) Aley Martin
Listened as I walk daily. Well done and informative
Tracey
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to make sure I was focused while listening to this book, a lot of good messages for those struggling with grief. Also a good reminder that there is no timeframe or "right" way to grieve.
Mary Jo
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. David Kessler really resonated with me and how my grief is affecting me and my life. His stories are incredibly touching and meaningful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has lost someone dear to them.
sansan
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on grief and finding meaning after loss.
Nancy
3.5 stars.
Allison
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bawled at the end when he talked about his son. Perfect timing to be finishing this right before Father’s Day.
Laurie
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
It isn't often that I, as a librarian, buy a book for my own collection. When I started reading this book (a library copy), I realized very quickly that I needed to own my own copy--to highlight, to loan out, to refer to and to re-read.

I have suffered many kinds of grief, and this book helped with all of it. Chapters include suicide, complicated relationships, miscarriage, infant death, traumatic events, and so much more. David Kessler writes with compassion and warmth. He tells stories and giv
...more
Stacey Raymond
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read on grief. When deep sorrow hit us, it can be crippling. And it is in finding meaning that we can move on living our lives. when we love, the sorrow of a loved one's death is something that we carry. It is tattooed on our minds, hearts, and souls. But when we can find meaning and move forward with purpose, then we can transform our loss into an active form of love for those who die. We can live a legacy for them, and it makes it easier to wake up and continue to ...more
Jessica
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got more validation from this book than I did new information, but it also felt therapeutic to read my own perspective of the grief process articulated by someone else. More importantly, I can see how this could be really valuable to somebody going through that process: I know I'll certainly re-read it if I ever have to go through life-altering shit again.
Rob
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Truly a great book. I’ve been wondering what comes after the Acceptance stage of grief, having my own thoughts about living fully and carrying my dads memory with me. The author details the opportunity to find meaning and live well, while still honoring our loved one. A line that stuck out to me, “our grief never gets smaller, we get bigger.”
Karen
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Devastated that I even had cause to read this. There were a few small parts that I agreed with and found helpful but maybe I’m nowhere near the stage where I can start to accept what has happened as this didn’t feel very helpful to me. 😔
Cindy
Mar 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing new, recycled material, not fulfilling. Didn't finish.
Wise Cat
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, no-genre
This is the first book I ever read on grief. I picked it up with a grain of salt, as I know from attending a couple of grief groups how complex this all is. I have not even read "On Grief and Grieving", another book by this author it seems.

I wish there was more on "complicated relationships". I would have liked it if Kessler wrote more about grief over someone you've been estranged from for DECADES, AND the surviving members of your family are also estranged. Kessler is/was lucky enough to have
...more
Eliza Jimenez
I decided to listen to this as an audiobook after listening to Kessler's interview on Brene Brown's podcast earlier this spring and just due to a personal interest in grief and loss. Some parts of this book I really appreciate and will take with me. For one, this book is definitely VERY comprehensive in that it covers loss in all shapes and forms (cancer, death of a parent, a child, suicide, mental health, addiction, break ups, etc). I loved that Kessler included so many anecdotes from his own l ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
  • On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss
  • Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life
  • It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
  • Christmas Shopaholic
  • The Girls of Pearl Harbor
  • Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
  • If Only I Could Tell You
  • Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive
  • Dwelling: Simple Ways to Nourish Your Home, Body, and Soul
  • Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
  • Bedtime Stories for Kids
  • The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11
  • Criss Cross (Alex Cross Book, #27)
  • Together: Why Social Connection Holds the Key to Better Health, Higher Performance, and Greater Happiness
  • Howard Stern Comes Again
  • Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -  and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined
  • Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe: 25 Years of Travel Tales from America's Favorite Guidebook Writer
See similar books…
97 followers

David Kessler 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. His new book is Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. He coauthored On Grief and Grieving and Life Lessons with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding P
...more

Related Articles

If you haven't heard of record-smashing singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, is there any hope for you? Who else has sold more than 200 million...
58 likes · 23 comments
“When someone dies, the relationship doesn't die with them.” 3 likes
“Your loss is not a test, a lesson, something to handle, a gift, or a blessing. Loss is simply what happens to you in life. Meaning is what you make happen.” 2 likes
More quotes…