Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Griever’s Holiday Bill of Rights

Thank you to Saundra Freemond from Santa Monica, CA for sending this to me when I first began our blog 3 years ago - my son Bobby had just died and I remember wondering if it would be politically correct to send this to everyone I knew, so they would understand me and that I wasn't going crazy or just being obstinate or feeling sorry myself (even though I felt as though I was all those things and sometimes still feel that way)... but I wanted people around me to just understand my heart was totally broken and I was finding it hard to breath and put one foot in front of the other and I didn't know today how I would feel or react to any given situation tomorrow... so I hope you will appreciate this as much as I always have-I have a copy of it in my holiday folder and as I begin to prepare for the holidays it's right on top, so it reminds me that it is OK to still feel as I do...and those who love me just have to understand (and if not-I'm sorry) - Lots of Love and we hope that our postings these next few weeks will help you on this month of difficult challenges on your journey..  Cherie Houston

The Grierves Holiday Bill of Rights by Bruce H. Conely 

You have the right to say, ‘TIME OUT!”,  anytime you need to.  Time out to let up; blow off a little steam; step away from the bustle of events;  have a “huddle” and start over.

You have a right to TELL IT LIKE IT IS.    When people ask, “How are you…?”, you have the right to tell them how you really feel, not just what they want to hear.  You also have a right to say, “I’m fine”, because the choice is yours.

You have the right to some, “BAH HUMBUG” DAYS.  You don’t have to put on a “happy face” for the benefit of others.  You are not a bad person because you don’t feel like smiling and cheering up others all day long.  Accept your limitations, don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help.

You have the right to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.   There is no law that says you must always celebrate a special day in the same way.  You can send fewer cards, or no cards at all!  You can open gifts at someone else’s house.  You can put up special decorations or leave them in the box this year or have pizza instead of that traditional dinner.  The list is endless.

You have the right to BE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.  Be at home or with friends; in any city or state you choose or have dinner at a restaurant instead of in the traditional place.  Feel free to make changes or observe that special day in the usual way.

You have a right to SOME FUN!  When you have a day that isn’t so bad and you feel like doing something just for fun, then do it!  Don’t be afraid of what other people will say if they see you laughing and having a good time.  Laughter is every bit as important, and healing, as tears!

You have a right to CHANGE DIRECTION IN MIDSTREAM.  Grief is unpredictable.  You may be all ready to go somewhere or do something and suddenly feel overwhelmed.  When that happens, it’s okay to change your mind.  There are plenty of times in life to be predictable, so exercise your right to change your mind when you need to.

You have a right to DO THINGS AT DIFFERENT TIMES.  Worship at a different service time or even at a different church/synagogue.
        Open special gifts at a different time or place.
        Serve your meal at a different hour.
        Give up and go to bed at a different time.
        Don’t be a slave to tradition’s clock!

You have a right to REST, PEACE AND SOLITUDE.  You don’t need to be busy all of the time.  Take a nap whenever you need one.  Take time to pray and to meditate, to recharge your spirit.  It may do you much more good than eating another huge meal.

You have the right TO DO IT ALL DIFFERENT NEXT TIME.  Just because you change things one year, doesn’t mean you have written it in stone.  Next year you can change it back or do it in yet another way.                                                                                              

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