The Grief Process: the life experience no one escapes

posted in: Grief Recovery 0

In this guest blog I am sharing the wisdom of Grief Recovery Founder, John W. James, from The Grief Recovery Institute. I hope you find this blog helpful.

Sadly, much of the information available on the topic of the grief process is incorrect and not helpful for people devastated by significant emotional loss.

For more than 35 years we, at The Grief Recovery Institute®, have been observing and assisting hundreds of thousands of grievers worldwide. As the result we are constantly publishing correct information about grief. Our solution for people who are dealing with grief is embodied in The Grief Recovery Method®, which over the years has become the gold standard for recovery from grief.

What is the grief process?

“Grief is the conflicting feelings we experience following the end of, or the change in any familiar pattern of behavior.”

A simple example would be when my mother died. She had been ill for over six years. One morning I received the call that she had passed away peacefully in her sleep. Immediately two thoughts jumped into my mind. One was, “Thank God.” Which is a positive feeling. Moments later the second thought was, “I’m going to miss her sweet smile.” Notice that both feelings are normal and natural and as such are part of grief.

The same example could also apply to all kinds of loss. Let’s look at loss of trust. A friend betrays you. A first feeling might be one of sadness or even anger. While the second feeling might be one of relief that you found out about the loss now instead of later.

Although grief is the normal and natural response to loss of any kind, it is shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. There is more confusion surrounding grief than any other human experience – and this confusion grows each year.

Using Intellect doesn’t help

The Grief Process: Using intellect doesnEducated people write articles; the psychotherapeutic community publishes articles; the entertainment community through television and movies tries to address the topic of grief. What they all have in common is that they try to address grief through intellect. And grief is an emotional event, not an intellectual one.


Recently a small war has been raging over the upcoming publication of the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It has even gone so far as to try to label normal grief as what they call an MDE (Major Depressive Episode).

Grief is an emotional experience and no matter how hard society tries to act as if sad feelings don’t exist – they do. Trying to use intellect to heal your heart will not work. Only the correct set of actions that lead to what is unresolved emotionally in a relationship will help.

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Canadian Grief Recovery Method Specialist, Tammy Adams, loves to problem solve, inspire and motivate others who are ready and committed to change. Tammy has spent over 30 years in the field of education and as a Certified Life and Executive Coach Tammy teaches individuals to challenge and conquer their limiting beliefs and insecurities to create the life of their choosing. As a Grief Recovery Method Specialist Tammy understands that unresolved grief can limit an individual’s capacity for happiness and is gifted at supporting individuals through the pain and isolation cause by an emotional loss, of any kind, to a place of happiness they believed no longer existed. A Tammy client testimonial, “Tammy helped me unpack the baggage and put a smile on my face in the process. It’s a rare quality for someone to fully listen without judgement but yet still steer you in the right direction.”

To learn more about Intuitive Understanding please visit or contact Tammy by email at