Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mourner's Bill of Rights

A friend emailed this to me today and I thought I'd share it with all of you.

The Mourner's Bill of Rights

By Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD.

1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. So, when you turn to others for help, don't allow them to tell you what you should or should not be feeling.

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, about your grief. If at times you don't feel like talking, you also have the right to be silent.

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 yoru grief journey. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, for example, is wrong. Don't take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your feelings without condition.

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. And don't allow others to push you into doing things you don't feel ready to do.

5. You have the right to experience "griefbursts." Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be 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 ritual. The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. More importantly, the funeral is a way for you to mourn. If others tell you the funeral or other healing rituals such as these are silly or unnecessary, don't listen.

7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality. If faith is a 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. And watch out for the clichéd responses some people may give you. Comments like "It was God's will," or "Think of what you have to be thankful for" are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.

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 toward 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 and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Really.... I am still alive.... honest!

Hey everyone.... I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here and well.... sort of.
During the last few weeks, I've kind of been taking a break from my life. My house has even had a bit of a vacation... *T* has started helping with the cleaning, AND the laundry. [can you believe it]. Either I really have become the horrible nagging &!*@# that I have always thought I would become... or he has finally realized that I really do need and appreciate his help. One sunday afternoon he cleaned the whole kitchen and dining room. I think it took me a week to get over the shock, but let me tell ya it really has motivated me to keep them clean. We got new (used) furniture for the living room, so I cleaned and rearranged that room on Wednesday. My house is finally looking like a home again.
I know I have to snap out of this slump that I've had. And as long as I stay busy I seem to be okay, but as soon as I have idle time, I get down and out again. I can't wait til spring, maybe just maybe that will help. I am so tired of these dark dreary days.
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