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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

Ask The Grief Experts

Grief without recovery can be never-ending! (Published 10/20/2015)


I lost my Great Grandmother May 2010, then in 2011 my father-in-law became ill with cancer. I took care of him and was with him in my home the morning he died a few months later. I feel so overwhelmed because I don't feel I ever got to fully mourn for my Great Grandmother whom I was very close to. Then,  wham, I lose my father in law. The impact felt harder because I cared for him, and everyone says I only feel this way because of the fact that I was his primary care giver. How do I mourn for two loved ones that held such precious places in my life? I feel as if I am losing my mind. I talked to God in prayer and I still feel my questions are not answered. I can't even think about holiday celebrations for the children and my family, though I know they expect the same traditional gatherings I've always done! Is there anything you can suggest that may help me see joy again? Help me feel like all I worked hard for is really worth it? Am I just walking to a grave? If so, then why do we as humans even try?

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