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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

Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

While there are other critical dates and times that affect grieving people, the holiday season is the biggest stimulus to provoke memories and feelings about important people in our lives who have died or who are no longer present at our holiday celebrations and rituals because of divorce or other estrangements. Many people struggle with their feelings during the holidays, not knowing how to deal with their own emotions, much less those of others they love.

Here are ten tips. The first five relate primarily to the death of someone important to you. That person might have been a loved one or may have been what we call a less than loved one, but you will probably still be affected by their absence. The second set of five tips relates either to the death of a spouse or to divorce. We are not comparing those experiences, but we are suggesting that the tips can be helpful in either situation.

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Ask John & Russell – The powerful images we can conjure up in our minds about things we’ve read or heard, are nothing short of terrifying. (Published 12/16/2014)


I just read your article about violent images of death. My question isn't even about someone I know. I read a story yesterday about this little 6 year old boy who got killed by falling into the wood chipper while he was helping his dad. The story said he was pulled in when he tried to throw in a branch. I am the father of 3 young children, one of them is my almost six year old son. I have been unable to shake this image of horror. I am afraid to tell anyone that I feel this way because I don't want to share this image with them. I have been crying and everything, and I don't even know the family or the child at all. How can I get past this?

Russell Friedman Replies:

Dear Drew,

Thanks for your note and total honesty about what you’re experiencing.

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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.

  • December 2014
    Seattle, WA - Dec 5-8, 2014
    Dallas, TX - Dec 5-8, 2014
    Toronto, ON, Canada - Dec 5-8, 2014
    Jacksonville, FL - Dec 5-8, 2014
    Princeton, NJ - Dec 5-8, 2014
  • January 2015
    Phoenix, AZ - Jan 16-19, 2015
    Columbus, OH - Jan 16-19, 2015
    Mexico City, D.F., Mexico - Jan 23-25, 2015
    Monterrey, N.L., Mexico - Jan 23-26, 2015
    Atlanta, GA - Jan 23-26, 2015
    Bend, OR - Jan 23-26, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA - Jan 30-Feb 2, 2015

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