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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

In condolences, be careful NOT to say "I Know How You Feel" (Published 3-13-12)


Good Morning John & Russell,

I am a devoted Christian Woman and I have just barely begun (3 weeks), a relationship with a Sweet, Beautiful Christian man and within the last three weeks his Mother returned to the hospital with the return of cancer throughout her body. After five days of being in the hospital in ICU she lost her life and returned Home to be with the Lord in Heaven.

During the time this man's Mother was in the hospital and since I have let him know through Bible Scripture and brief personal sentiments, that I am deeply sorry for his great loss and that I am praying for him and his family via email, texting and phone conversations.

Question: Is it appropriate to mail a sympathy
card to him?

What else can I do to be supportive
to him during this time? I too,
know what it is like to lose a
parent, I lost my Wonderful Father
almost six years ago?

I appreciate your answers and feedback to my questions. You see, I feel maybe this could be the man I have been praying to the Lord for to come into my life and be a future mate.

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