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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

Sometimes the best way to help someone else is to help yourself. (Published 9/13/2016)


My mom died on Christmas morning, sometime in the middle of the night. We’d had a great Christmas Eve, with her giving out presents and cooking the dinner. We left about 1 a.m., and she died about 3 or 4 in her sleep. So our Christmas Day was the worst Christmas ever. We didn't have a Christmas dinner like usual. I just don't know how to help my dad. A couple of days later he got the turkey out and cooked it, and we made some fixings to go with it. But how do we celebrate Christmas now, when she was the main person organizing it and every holiday, Thanksgiving, birthdays, etc.? My dad seems to be trying to go on and be normal, but all I can do is cry when I see him without her.

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