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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

Guilt implies intent to harm and rarely is accurate to descibe the feelings of most grieving people. (Published 9/30/2014)


My beloved mother died suddenly nine months ago while in the hospital from an unrelated illness. I was with her almost day and night. The day she died I went home to get some rest and clean up. While I was in the shower the hospital was calling. When I got out of the shower, a message from the doctor indicated I needed to call him right away. When I did, he told me something suddenly happened and my mother had died. I rushed to the hospital to find my mother propped up like at a viewing, and no one was around to explain anything. Evidently, she had died from ruptured ulcers, a condition that we hadn’t known about. My question is how to deal with all this emotional trauma. We were best friends and very close. I was her caregiver and I did not see that ambush coming my way. She was my Mom and she trusted me. This gaping hole is killing me. You can't help but feel the guilt over the loss, the autopsy, and the guilt over what you might have been able to do. I know all that is apart of the grieving process. Help, please.

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    April 2017
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