During Mom’s last day on earth, the Hospice nurse gave us a card with a list of “The Mourner’s Bill of Rights.” Published by the Center for Loss in Fort Collins, CO. You can buy your own card at their site.
If you are grieving during these early days of 2022, my prayer is that you will find hope in the following.
Reprinted with permission from the Center for Loss by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt.
“The Mourner’s Bill of Rights” by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt
- You have the right to experience your own unique grief.
- You have the right to talk about your grief.
- You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions.
- You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits.
- You have the right to experience “grief bursts.”
- You have the right to make use of ritual.
- You have the right to embrace your spirituality.
- You have the right to search for meaning.
- You have the right to treasure your memories.
- You have the right to move toward your grief and heal.
Another great place to take your grief is through a support group titled “Grief Share.” Various churches offer these groups, and I participated in one after the death of my friend, Deb.
These groups remind us we are not alone in our grief. Others suffer as well. Sometimes, we are reminded that our grief is not as intense as another’s grief, yet it is valid.
My grief is not your grief, therefore I have the right to grieve in my own way. Another person’s Bible verse is not my verse. Another opinion about how long or how I should grieve is not credible.
Some people are emotional grievers. They cry and wail, sometimes stay in bed for weeks. I do not judge them, because I grieve in a different way.
I am an industrial griever. It helps me to do projects that bring a glad remembrance of my loved one. When Deb died, I completed four grief projects — most of them around the house or the yard. Then I gave a donation to the local animal shelter, because Deb loved animals.
For my recent grief, I created a memory shelf in my home. For several days, I was busy putting it together, painting, sanding, measuring the perfect place in my guest room. When I felt the need to cry, I stopped and mourned for the loss of now both my parents. Acknowledged the feeling of being orphaned.
Now, when I pass by, I smile at their memory. Sometimes I cry. Usually, I just think about my next project.
My faith has not been weakened by the need to grieve. In fact, I believe more strongly than ever in the power of hope and the certainty of eternal life. My parents are with Jesus. Someday, we will meet again.
So if you are grieving, whether it’s the loss of a person, a job, a home, a marital status, a former identity — stay in hope. Do what you have to do to grieve in a healthy way.
And know that your mourning means you deeply loved.
©2022 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved