Copyright © 2011  Brevard Lawride
Mourner's  Bill of Rights
By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

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 what you should or
          should not be feeling. 

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

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. 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 clinched 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 don't have to accept them.

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.

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. 

​Copyright 2007, Center for Loss and Life Transition