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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

I'm getting tired of propping everyone else up. (Published 1-24-12)


How do I respond to family members who seem critical of my grieving, who tell me to "move on", "you're self-absorbed", "self-destructive" and other hurtful things?

This started the day of his memorial service when I was told I was "being rude" and "enabling myself to feel sad" because I cried after reading the sympathy cards. They act as if I want to feel this way, are disgusted and want me to feel guilty.

Do they really expect me to act happy for their sake? I try but I'm getting tired of propping everyone else up. They have said/done nothing to comfort me in any way and act as though my spouse never existed. It hurts a great deal and isn't helping me heal any.

Appreciate any advice you can give..Thank you

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