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John James, founder of The Grief Recovery Institute

John W. James

Founder of The Grief Recovery Institute®
Co-Author of The Grief Recovery
Handbook & When Children Grieve

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Russell Friedman, Executive Director of The Grief Recovery Institute

Russell Friedman

Executive Director
Co-Author of The Grief Recovery
Handbook & When Children Grieve

Featured Article

Uh-oh, it’s that time again. Grief and the holidays

Many Grievers Wish They Could Skip The Holidays And Jump From Late October To Mid-January

The holidays are approaching. A joyous time. A festive time. A time when families and friends celebrate the passage of another year and the coming of a new year.

But not everyone will feel like celebrating.

Adapting to the absence of someone important in your life is difficult enough. But the first holiday season, with its constant reminders of family, coupled with holiday joy and tradition, can be especially painful. At the Grief Recovery Institute we've talked with thousands of people who've told us they wished they could jump from late October right to mid-January.

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Ask John & Russell – Fear is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss. As in: How will I go on without that person? (Published 11/17/2015)


I am a hospice nurse, unable to take any steps towards my own grief process. I've lost two very close brothers in the past of 4 years. My elderly parents are declining, and out of the three siblings left, I'm their caregiver. I have a deep spiritual faith and trust God completely. I cannot determine what I am going through...can't tell if it's depression, grief, fear or anticipatory grief. I am often at the bedside of dying patients and their family members. How am I able to help them, when I'm not able to help myself? I'm so fearful about what my emotional state will become when the first of my parents dies. They are in deep depression now, and I am the one they lean on. I'm able to rise to the occasion, but only until I return home. What do I need to do to get out of this pit?

Russell Friedman Replies:

Dear Tommie,

Thanks for your note and questions, and for your honesty about yourself.

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Find Local Support

If you or someone important to you wants help with grief: Look for a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist℠ in your community. The Grief Recovery Institute ® trains and mentors Certified Grief Recovery Specialists℠ throughout the United States & Canada.

See Russell and John's blog at Psychology Today

Workshops & Training Schedule

The Grief Recovery Institute ® offers Certification Training programs for those who wish to help grievers.

    October 2015
    Wilmington, DE - Oct 2-5, 2015
    Portland, OR - Oct 2-5, 2015
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - Oct 8-11, 2015
    San Diego, CA - Oct 16-19, 2015
    Louisville, KY - Oct 16-19, 2015
    Guadalajara, Jal, Mexico - Oct 22-25, 2015
    Edmonton, AB, Canada - Oct 23-26, 2015
    Denver, CO - Oct 23-26, 2015

    November 2015
    Chicago, IL - Nov 6-9, 2015
    Sydney, Australia - Nov 12-15, 2015
    Nashville, TN - Nov 13-16, 2015
    San Francisco, CA - Nov 13-16, 2015
    Reading, England - Nov 20-23, 2015
    Monterrey, N.L., Mexico - Nov 27-39, 2015

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