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


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Post-Holiday, Grief-Related Blues!

Logically, for many grieving people, the holidays are difficult enough, especially the first season after someone important to them has died. But many are surprised to find that the new year doesn’t automatically bring an end to the emotional pain caused by the absence.

In fact, it is after the holidays that the day-to-day reality of the now-missing person sets in, without the distraction of the mad swirl of shopping and family gatherings. It’s a time when emotions can get amped up and cause you to think that there’s something very wrong with you.

Rather than there being something wrong with you, what you may be feeling is the natural by-product of your attempt to adapt to the the very changed circumstances of your life. Learning to function the way you did before the death, while normal and healthy, is not always the smoothest and easiest transition in the world.

Many years ago, a grieving person told us, “My grief is the feeling of reaching out for someone who has always been there, only to discover when I needed her one more time, she was no longer there.”

Those poignant words have helped many people not feel as alone and lost as they often do in the time following the death of someone who meant so much in their life. And those words certainly can be helpful in the transitional time after the holidays.

But other people’s words are not enough. In addition to taking actions to grieve and complete what the death left emotionally unfinished for you, it’s wise to find at least one person with whom you can talk openly and safely about the feelings you’re having as you try to move forward in your life. You can defeat the isolation of grief by participating in your own recovery.

For any of you who are concerned about a grieving family member or friend, please take the time to make yourself available to them. Let them know that the topic of grief is open and that you will listen without judgment. It may be the greatest gift you can give.

© 2014 Russell P. Friedman, John W. James and The Grief Recovery Institute®. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint this and other articles please contact The Grief Recovery Institute at info@griefrecoverymethod.com or by phone, 800-334-7606.

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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 2014
    Atlanta, GA - July 11-14, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ - July 18-21, 2014
    Chicago, IL - July 18-21, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA - July 25-28, 2014
    Toronto, ON - July 25-28, 2014
  • August 2014
    Omaha, NE - Aug 8-11, 2014
    Singapore - Aug 11-14, 2014
    New York, NY - Aug 15-18, 2014
    Houston, TX - Aug 22-25, 2014
    Tampa, FL - Aug 22-25, 2014

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