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The Grieving Person's Bill Of Rights

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I have a very heavy heart tonight. I wish I could just rewrite the months of the year forever and remove December....Carol Ann


1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do.

2. You have the right to talk about your grief. Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief.

3. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions. Confusion, disorientation, fear, guilt and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Find listeners who will accept your feelings without conditions.

4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals.

5. You have the right to experience grief "attacks". Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can frightening, but is normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk it out.

6. You have the right to make use of rituals. The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. More important, the funeral is a way for you to mourn.

7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality. If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel angry at God, find someone to talk with who won't be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.

8. You have the right to search for meaning. You may find yourself asking "Why did he or she die? Why this way? Why now?" Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not.

9. You have the right to treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share them.

10. You have the right to move towards your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself.

© By Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, Ft. Collins, CO

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I love that! I wish I'd seen it 5 1/2 years ago, I would have framed it...or better yet, handed it out on business cards!

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I am glad that some of you have found it helpful. I found it on the net last night. It resonated with me so I thought I would share it with all of you. I think I will frame it to. I had a very difficult day yesterday. December is a very full month for me in so far as anniversaries of loss. I managed my work day though so that is a blessing. I see myself healing and that keeps me encouraged.

I am so very grateful for all of you here. I look forward to my workday today. I am glad I am doing half days for now. I feel my life coming alive again and that is wonderful.

Hugs to everyone.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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