A Tribute to John James

posted in: Grief Recovery 0

It is with sadness I learned John W. James, creator of The Grief Recovery Method and founder of The Grief Recovery Institute, passed away. The Grief Recovery Method has been instrumental in helping me find myself; to remember who I was and am; and to heal the self who had been lost, buried under a burden of grief, unknowingly for years.

So many things I wished had been better or different. Time, I wished to have had more of. I was buried under the disappointments of unrealized hopes, dreams, and expectations along with the regret of things which had been left unsaid. Tortured by thoughts I felt were never heard and the need to be able to l say things one more time….only this time with someone listening. It was through The Grief Recovery Method I realized there was a way to identify these feelings, then recognize and embrace the way to process them; to “let them go”.

Until I completed my unresolved emotions of grief, I had no idea I would be able to step fully into my present moments. I was unaware my fear of the future would be forever driven by my regrets of the past. I did not understand my inability to set healthy boundaries, my need to please, and my perfectionism would continue to control every action and decision I made until I completed the incomplete emotions of my past.

I have spent decades invested in my own inner healing. I attended workshops, listened intently to speakers, read books, and continuously moved forward in a desperate need to reconnect with my authentic self. Each and every step, as I shifted my mind set and discovered healthier ways to live, brought me closer to my objective.

Perhaps this is why The Grief Recovery Method was so effective for me. It was the missing piece. It was what propelled me onto the path I had been striving to reach. I followed the proven action steps laid out by the program and, relationship by relationship, I found peace.

I spent the first 50+ years of my life feeling insecure, afraid, and exhausted; driven by a need to be perfect and accepted. However, as I healed the pain of my past, I noticed my body began to feel lighter. I noticed my confidence increase. I was able to set healthy boundaries and set goals which would allow me to live the life of my choosing.

It is difficult to put into words my gratitude for what John created. Like any “self-help” program you must be ready. You must be willing to do the work, to follow the instructions and to trust the process. The tricky part about self-help is no-one can do the work for you. Others can provide the tools and create an environment, but a garden will remain full of weeds if no one puts the hoe in the ground. The ground must be physically worked, and the weeds removed before the garden can begin to flourish. And much like the garden, your heart needs regular attention in order to keep it free of negativity.

It has been several years since I completed the program myself. Since then, I have supported many to move to the other side of their pain. In order to remain in a state of inner peace, I continue to process my emotions using this method.

As Grief Recovery Specialists we were aware John’s failing health. Just as I would with you, John went first and led by example. He wrote us a letter letting us know how he felt. He did not wish to leave things left unsaid. We received his words, thoughts, and feelings before his passing.

In turn we had the opportunity to send John personal messages of what he meant to us. How he had impacted our lives. And most importantly to share our gratitude.  And while I feel very sad with his passing, I feel complete. Nothing has been left unsaid and because of him, I knew how to complete these emotions.

As a Grief Recovery Method Specialist, I have the honor of carrying his work forward. To support The Grief Recovery Institutes mandate of helping as many grievers as possible to move to the other side of their pain.

To quote his wife, Jess, “John has spent his entire life helping others, and in the end, his greatest gift to us and all grievers, is the Grief Recovery Method, the company he founded, and which his son Cole runs to this day.  That gift will guide all of us through the daily heartbreak of living without him.”


John, I love you

I miss you

Good-bye John