Grief Recovery Guidance Center logo

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

Ask a Question »
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

It’s very difficult to help someone who does not want or ask for help (Published 3-27-2012)


On April 27th, 2010, my 19-year-old brother passed away in a car accident. I am 24 and have a two year old son. I feel as though I lost my brother and my mother on the same day. Although we lost the same person, our grief is no where near the same. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, but my mother's grieving is the same today as it was on that day.

With the one year mark approaching, I am wondering what i can do to encourage her to grieve in a more healthy way. She insists on calling my son by the nickname she had for my brother, something she did not do before his death. I want to protect my son from expectations he cannot possibly achieve, but also support my mother's grieving process. She is still blaming anything and anyone for his death and talks about him at the most inappropriate times. I am not afraid to talk about him, nor do I avoid doing so. But she brings up memories that are completely unrelated to the topic at hand quite frequently. How can I help her?

« Prev Question Next Question »       Ask a Question » View Q&A Archive »

Ask John & Russell Archives

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.

    September 2015
    Melbourne, VIC, Australia - Sept 3-6, 2015
    Des Moines, IA - Sept 11-14, 2015
    Gatwick, England - Sept 18-21, 2015
    Detroit, MI - Sept 18-21, 2015
    Houston, TX - Sept 18-21, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA - Sept 25-28, 2015
    Mexico City, D.F., Mexico - Sept 25-28, 2015
    Atlanta, GA - Sept 25-28, 2015

    October 2015
    Wilmington, DE - Oct 2-5, 2015
    Portland, OR - Oct 2-5, 2015
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - Oct 8-11, 2015
    San Diego, CA - Oct 16-19, 2015
    Louisville, KY - Oct 16-19, 2015
    Guadalajara, Jal, Mexico - Oct 22-25, 2015
    Edmonton, AB, Canada - Oct 23-26, 2015
    Denver, CO - Oct 23-26, 2015

View All Dates »