9/17- The 5 Stages of Grief (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation – Dianne Gray)

Doctor Talking To Senior CoupleWhat are the 5 stages of grief?  Join CJ as she talks to Dianne Gray, head of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and Ken Ross, son of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s classic book, “On Death and Dying”.  Get more shows like this at: https://www.fireitupwithcj.com/.

About Dianne Gray


Like many people, our best choices often revolve around our personal lives. The story of Hospice and Healthcare communications starts with a simple storyline: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

You may recall this phrase from a well known book, but it also applies to my life.

I was 28 years old, had what society deems “everything” including a long awaited blonde-haired green-eye son named Austin. What we didn’t know was that Austin has  a rare neurodegenerative disease named NBIA Disorders (neurodegenerative brain iron accumulation disorders).www.nbiadisorders.org

The disease slowly took away five year old Austin’s ability to walk, crawl, move and see clearly. It also removed his ability to eat and talk over a period of years, while leaving his cognitive process in tact. By the time Austin was nine, he could no longer attend school and he was in extraordinary pain every day due to his speacticity and dystonia. He cried, I cried and we were all struggling to hold on. We needed help.

So in 2000, I called hospice and we became an “in home” hospice family– and “family” now included a joyous, healthy little daughter, Christina.

I desperately needed help titrating thirteen different medications which included morphine, methadone, and valium. Like most pediatric palliative care/hospice families, I was in way over my head with nursing schedules, contracts, medications, skin care, and grief issues…not to mention emergency issues: hurricanes, pharmacy errors, and nursing no-shows. Let’s also not forget normal things like Santa, homework, bath and story time, holidays, friends and much coveted sleep.

Unfortunately, in 2005, I had to make the most difficult medical ethical decisions of my life regarding my son’s care and prognosis. Austin died February 25, 2005 at age 14, comfortable and at peace with Christina and I holding his hands.

The fourteen year experience with Austin and Christina, our hospice and medical care providers, friends, family and faith community, was filled with the best and worst of pretty much everything which has provided me with a bundle of insight, and the desire to create incredible programming and education projects and partnerships in the hospice and palliative care fields.

This experience changed forever my views not only on death and dying but also on life and living. Make no mistake about it: I want my son alive and healthy, but I can’t change that. What I can change is how I live the rest of my life.

I commit to doing substantive work where and when I can in the areas of hospice and palliative care (including pain management and end of life care.)

To me, its this simple: Death is not optional, but living life fully is.

– See more at: https://hhccommunications.com/founder-dianne-gray#sthash.GaC3HaPl.dpuf

About Ken Ross

Ken Ross is the son of the late Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, pioneering legend in the hospice and palliative care arena.  Elisabeth, famous for her wit and voracious appetite for life, is best known for her seminal publication, On Death and Dying.  In it, she shared the results of interviews with hundreds of dying patients– which resulted in the highly discussed Five Stages of the Dying.  Elisabeth is the author of 22 books in 34 languages, each focusing on some aspect of compassionate care for the dying, the grieving, the suffering, and of course, unconditional love.

Ken is President of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation (www.ekrfoundation.org) and was the principal care provider for his mother the last 9 years of her life.  When she was alive he traveled with her extensively often bearing witness to her love of life and compassionate care of the suffering. Ken has spoken to thousands of individuals around the world on the topic of his mother’s philosophies, her adventurous antics, and life history which lead to her career in end of life care.

A professional photographer by trade, he is currently endeavoring to photograph 101 countries.(www.kenrossphotography.com)

– See more at: https://hhccommunications.com/speakers/ken-ross-0#sthash.vb1DRI09.dpuf