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

The Boston Marathon Bombing, The Aftermath: Loss of Life, Loss of Safety, Loss of Trust, and Loss of Innocence

April 15, 2013, the date of the Boston Marathon bombing, joins the list of dates we’d rather not remember, but we can’t forget. It takes its sad place alongside recent horrific events like the Newtown, Connecticut massacre of December 14, 2012, and the mass shooting in the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012. Those two from last year are just the latest in a litany of dates that includes 9/11, November 22, 1963, December 7, 1941, and too many others.

Nearly everyone who was above the age of 5 at the time, remembers where they were when they found out about Pearl Harbor and about the shooting of John F. Kennedy. For most people, their first awareness of those events came on the radio. Later, as photo images trickled in from Pearl Harbor, and televised images filtered in from Dallas, the tragic news we had heard was matched by visual pictures.

But for most of us, September 11, 2001 is accompanied forever by the immediate, constant, and graphic images we saw, which have now been shown millions of times over. There was no time lag between the news and the pictures. It all happened simultaneously, in real time. The pictures from the Boston Marathon are also filled with stomach-churning graphic imagery, which none of us will forget any time soon.

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Ask John & Russell – You can’t go over, under, or around it, you have to go through it. (Published 4/15/2014)


I am 40 years old. My 19 year old son died a month ago, killed by a drunk driver in a car accident. How do I go on from this? How does my 21 year old daughter continue her life now that her best friend is gone?  My 5 year old is almost emotionless, which is hard because he and his brother were so close. His father and I struggle everyday with the pain. With all of this, my husband and I have to think about going back to work and moving on when I don’t think wither of us want to move on. My mom, who was extremely close to my  son, died the day after him from a heart attack. How can this be happening?

Russell Friedman Replies:

Dear FO5F,

Thanks for your note and your total honesty about what this nightmare tragedy has done to you and your family.

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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 2013
    Houston, TX - December 6 - 9, 2013
    Louisville, KY - December 6 - 9, 2013
    Tampa, FL - December 6 - 9, 2013
    Toronto, ON - December 6 - 9, 2013
    January 2014
    Phoenix, AZ - January 17 - 20, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA - January 24 - 27, 2014
    Vancouver, BC - January 24 - 27, 2014
    Columbus, OH - January 24 - 27, 2014

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