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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

Russell Friedman, Executive Director of The Grief Recovery Institute

Russell Friedman

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

Ask John & Russell

To be your son's leader, you need to learn how to deal effectively with your own losses! (Published 2/12/2013)


I’m writing to you today because I lost my fiancé of six years, two years ago. I feel like my entire life has been a struggle. I had an abusive husband and many other difficult things. I met my fiancé just after my father died. Because of that, I bonded with him quickly, since that was a hard time for me. We spent every day together, at work, at home, everywhere. Very soon thereafter, we bought a house and farm and moved in together. I worried about him all the time because I knew that the combined stresses of work and keeping up the farm were getting to him. He left one night to close a gate on the back of the farm and did not return. I went to bed thinking he would come to bed when he got back. I woke up around three in the morning to see he wasn't home. I went toward the back of our farm to try to look for him and found him dead in his truck. His death was ruled a suicide, which I feel in my heart may be true, but it almost looked like an accident from the way it happened. It’s been two years and I am in therapy and on medication and it doesn't seem to help the roller coaster of emotions. I have never been content with anything since this happened and don't know if I can ever move forward or not be afraid to love again. I have a boyfriend who is a wonderful man, but every time he gets close, I push him away. Please help me. The only contentment I really have ever had was my life with my kids and Robert. Nothing feels normal now. Thanks for you help.

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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.

    March 2017
    Omaha, NE - March 3-6, 2017
    Baton Rouge, LA - March 10-13, 2017
    Handforth, Manchester, England - Mar 17-20
    Memphis, TN - March 17-20, 2017
    Calgary, AB, Canada - March 24-27, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA - March 24-27, 2017
    April 2017
    Indianapolis, IN - April 7-10, 2017
    Princeton, NJ - April 7-10, 2017
    Denver, CO - April 21-24, 2017
    Vancouver, BC, Canada - Apr 28-May 1,'17
    San Francisco, CA - Apr 28-May 1,'17

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