Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Grieving Person's Bill of Rights (courtesy of Vitas Hospice)

You have the right to...

Experience your own unique grief.  Everyone grieves differently.  You don't have to follow "the rules," "the stages,"  or someone else's way of grieving.

Talk about your grief.  Seek out others who will listen.  Talking helps you heal.

Feel a multitude of emotions.  Even feeling angry is okay.

Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits.  You don't have to do everything at once. (I only opened as many sympathy cards as I could handle each day.)  Eat balanced meals, get enough rest.  Don't push yourself or let others push you into doing too much.

Experience "grief attacks."  They can come without warning, triggered by a memory, a piece of music...anything.  They are powerful but natural.

Make use of rituaal. Rituals help you mourn, give you support.

Embrace your spirituality.  If faith is part of your life, express it.

Search for meaning.  You may have questions about why this happened, but you don't have to rely on others' cliched answers.  

Treasure your memories.  Some may make you cry, but they are the best legacies.

Move toward your grief and heal.  Grief is a process.  Be patient with yourself and others who wish you would "get over it."  Others may not understand that losing someone you love changes your life forever.



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