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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

Time Doesn't Heal - Actions Do

I have heard that it takes two years to get over the death of a loved one, five years to get over the death of a parent, and you never get over the death of a child. Is this true?

It is impossible to answer that question without first debunking the phrase "get over."

You will never your child who died, nor would you forget a parent who died, or a spouse, a sibling, or anyone else with whom you had a meaningful relationship. Another problem is the arbitrary determination of time periods for grief corresponding to your relationship with the person who died.

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Ask John & Russell – Telling children the truth about suicide of a parent — difficult but essential. (Published 7/19/2016)

Q:

How and when do I truthfully answer questions from my grandson, age 9, about how his dad died? My son, physically sick, took his life (suicide) two years ago. His ex-wife — my grandson's mother — doesn't want him to know the truth. He thinks it was an "accident." This question may never come up from me to him, but if it does, later on, how do I answer his question? I have read the children's book "My Uncle Keith Died" by Carol Ann Loehr, et. al  and that may be helpful in explaining untreated depression that leads to suicide. But, I don't know what age is appropriate, if asked, and how to answer him, should he ask me. All other family members know the truth; his mother and her family keep it a secret and lie to him about it. Your insight and experience would be valuable. And I would be grateful.


Russell Friedman Replies:

Dear Sandra,

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.

    July 2016
    Manchester, England, UK - July 8-11, 2016
    Oklahoma City, OK - July 8-11, 2016
    Hartford, CT - July 8-11, 2016
    Melbourne, VIC, Australia - July 14-17, 2016
    Atlanta, GA - July 15-18, 2016
    Phoenix, AZ - July 15-18, 2016
    Auckland, New Zealand - July 21-24, 2016
    Chicago, IL - July 22-25, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA - July 22-25, 2016
    August 2016
    New York, NY - August 5-8, 2016
    Tampa, FL - August 12-15, 2016
    Austin, TX - August 12-15, 2016
    Spokane, WA - August 19-22, 2016
    Wilmington, DE - August 19-22, 2016
    Moncton, NB, Canada - August 26-29, 2016
    Detroit, MI - August 26-29, 2016

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