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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

When Your Heart Is Broken, Your Head Doesn’t Work Right And Your Spirit May Not Soar

For most people, the immediate response to the death of someone important to them is a sense of numbness. After that initial numbness wears off, the most common physiological reaction is a reduced ability to concentrate. The rest of the world goes out of focus. Nothing else is important. It is normal and natural that your entire being is centered on what happened and your relationship with the person who died. The length of time that the reduced ability to concentrate lasts is individual and can vary from a few days to several months, and even longer. It is not a sign that there’s something wrong with you.

The fact that the emotional impact of the death of that person has altered your day-to-day routines is very healthy. It would make no sense for you to not be affected by the death. It is normal to drift out of focus in response to conscious or unconscious memories of the person who died.

Please be gentle with yourself in allowing that your focus is not on the actions of life, but on your reactions to a death. If you’re at work, you can take little “grief breaks” as needed. It’s a good idea to establish a safe person at work who you can talk to when and if you get overwhelmed.

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Ask John & Russell – We must grieve and complete each relationship so that fond memories do not turn painful on us. (Published 4/19/2016)


How do I go on when I keep losing people in my family?

Russell Friedman Replies:

4/19/20126)Dear Janet,

Thanks for your note and question.

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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.

    April 2016
    Perth, WA Australia - Apr 14-17, 2016
    Denver, CO - Apr 15-18, 2016
    Indianapolis, IN - Apr 15-18, 2016
    Vancouver, BC Canada - Apr 22-25. 2016
    Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire UK - Apr 22-25, 2016

    May 2016
    Jacksonville, FL - May 13-16, 2016
    Dallas, TX - May 13-16, 2016
    Princeton, NJ - May 13-16, 2016
    Seattle, WA - May 20-23, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA - May 20-23, 2016
    Regina, SK Canada - May 20-23, 2016

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