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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

The actions of completion will not be “letting go” of and losing your friends, instead they will allow you to retain all the fond memories you have of them. (Published 10/23/2012)


Last year my best friend, along with another friend, were walking down the road when another former classmate was driving. The driver crossed into the opposite lane into the shoulder of the road where they were walking, hitting and killing them both. My best friend was 15, a month away from 16, and my other friend was 18, the same age as the driver.

I haven't been the same since. I'm 16 right now, 15 at the time of the accident. I find myself losing much ambition for life and I never seem to be happy. My best friend is always on my mind. When I said I'm losing ambition for life I don't mean I'm suicidal, I just don't get out of the house as much anymore and I lose interest to hang out with other friends.

My question is, how to end this constant depression, or at least just ease the pain? I know my best friend would want me to enjoy life, as I did with him. It's just so difficult. I feel awful that I do that. I'm still very close with his family, and I've gotten much closer with my other friend's family.

I spend a lot of time up at the cemetery, where they are buried side by side. Is it good to go there so often? When I visit them I do seem to be in a better mood. Is it common to feel like if you move on that you're letting go of them? How, if possible, do I change that feeling? What about forgiving the driver? I haven't done that, nor do I think I will.

If you could give me some answers to my questions it would mean a lot. I may even look into your book. At school people ask me if I'm alright because I just look sad, even though I try to pretend I'm ok. I can tell my parents are also concerned with me. I just want to live happier because I know that's what my friends and family would want.

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    April 2017
    Indianapolis, IN - April 7-10, 2017
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