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David Kessler
David Kessler is one of the most well known experts on loss today. He co-authored two bestsellers with the legendary Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: On Grief and Grieving and Life Lessons. He also the co-author with Louise Hay of the bestselling book, You Can Heal your heart after breakups, divorce and death. He also regularly lectures on a wide range of loss related issues including – breakups, divorce and job loss. He is also the author of the best-selling hospice book The Needs of the Dying, which received praise by Mother Teresa; as well as Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: who and what you see before you die.

His services have been used by Elizabeth Taylor, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Marianne Williamson when their loved ones faced life-challenging illnesses. In addition, David worked with the late actors Anthony Perkins and Michael Landon. The founder of the cancer support group The Bogeyman in the Closet, he lectures on living life fully in the face of cancer.

A frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show, David has also appeared on CNN, NBC, PBS, Fox, and Entertainment Tonight. He has written for The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, Anderson Cooper 360°, and David has volunteered with the Red Cross, and he also serves on the board of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. For more information, please visit

Entries by David Kessler

4 Solutions for Holiday Grief: Breakups, Divorce and Death

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 9:55 AM


"I hate this time of the year," my friend said. I didn't have to ask why because I knew that she lost her husband in mid-December two years ago. Last December, on the first anniversary of his death, she said it was like...

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Save Your Life: Get ICE

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 1:13 PM


Imagine this. Your loved one is late to meet you. You try to call and can't reach them. Hours pass. You start to panic and your mind wanders to worst-case scenarios. Something terrible has happened.

We've all been there. It could be...

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Jane Fonda Sits Shiva

(1) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 11:42 AM


This weekend an A-List cast stars in the hilarious and touching movie, This Is Where I Leave You. It's based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Tropper about Shiva.

What's Shiva?

Shiva is the beautiful Jewish tradition of family and friends...

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Melissa Rivers' Courageous Decision

(401) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 3:18 PM

Melissa Rivers made the hardest decision we ever have to make -- she took her 81-year-old mother, Joan Rivers, off life support. While Melissa Rivers' brave decision played out in public, this happens to families in hospitals all across America every day.

The unfortunate reality is...

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The Extraordinary Ordinary Life and Death of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

(3) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 12:54 PM

Photo Credit: Ken Ross

Ten years ago this month, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross died. She was the world's foremost expert on death and grief, yet she was the most alive person I've ever met. She was my mentor, my co-author of two books and...

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Grief at the Grocery Store

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 2:56 PM

We are outwardly saddened by the death of Robin Williams. We've seen this before with icons like JFK and JFK Jr., Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Whitney Houston.

Why do we grieve so much for someone we've never met?

As someone who has been in the field...

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Suicide Is Closer Than You Think

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 10:08 PM

The world has lost comic genius Robin Williams. We are stunned and deeply saddened.

His representative said he was battling depression. Depression is the highest risk factor for suicide. We are left trying to make sense of this senseless death. The reality is that that's a...

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Where Is the Respect?

(3) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 3:41 PM

Five days after Malaysian Airlines Flight 317 crashed, most of the bodies are finally headed home. It's unclear exactly how long that will take. Families still wait to find out when they will be reunited with their loved ones.

As of Monday, 16 passengers were still reported missing. I'll...

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A Conscious Look at Conscious Uncoupling: 4 Steps to a Successful Separation

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 3:35 PM

We are hearing a lot about a new term related to the separation of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: conscious uncoupling.

I define conscious uncoupling as recognizing that not all marriages are meant to last forever and both parties deserve to leave whole and intact. While some may dismiss...

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4 Good Ways to Cope With Fear

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 3:10 PM

We are now almost two weeks into the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. There are many theories about what happened, but sadly few answers.

For the families of passengers, the pain is palpable. They are desperate for answers. It's heartbreaking. As someone who has spent a lifetime in...

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What If...

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 3:22 PM

We can hardly turn on our TVs without seeing promos that reveal a child who died 32 years ago returning to his parents on ABC's new Sunday night drama, Resurrection.

We listen to the promo lyrics, "I'm coming home. I'm coming home. Tell the world I am coming home....

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You're Doing It Right, Brooke Burke-Charvet!

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 4:09 PM

I attended the live taping of last season's finale of Dancing With The Stars and it was a treat. The set was magnificent. The dancers were stunning and one light that stood out was Brooke Burke-Charvet. Her enthusiasm was infectious.

Now we all are getting a front row seat to...

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Normal Reactions to Abnormal Events

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 8:30 AM

The first time I volunteered for the Red Cross on an aviation disaster was in the year 2000. It had been a long time coming, even though I was already well-established in the field of death and grieving. Years before, I had wanted to volunteer for disaster work but I...

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Do we love Michael Jackson even more in death?

(13) Comments | Posted July 3, 2009 | 4:22 PM

Ever since Michael Jackson's funeral at Staples Center was announced about three hours ago, I've been trying to join the list of people who will be allowed to attend. I have dual interests in this: first as a death and dying expert wanting to witness up close, the phenomenon of...

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The Five Stages of Public Grief: Ed, Farrah, Michael, Michael, Michael

(15) Comments | Posted June 27, 2009 | 9:25 PM

I was asleep when I heard my phone buzz. The clock said it was 5:24 AM and my mind started racing. Because I work in the field of death and dying, I have a list of people who are near death in my mind. People often ask if death really...

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Paging Dr. Kevorkian

(24) Comments | Posted June 1, 2007 | 10:06 AM

Kevorkian's release is not the answer; better end-of-life care is the prescription needed.

Kevorkian is being released from prison this June. Even though he says he won't break the law when he is released, you have to wonder what effect his release will have, if any, on the assisted suicide...

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