Three years ago my sisters and I attended a workshop put on by Providence Hospice in Portland, Oregon. It was called, “Get Me Through the Holidays”. Our mom had died several months earlier and this was to be our first Christmas without her. We were given a packet with all kinds of hand-outs including, “The Griever’s Holiday Bill of Rights”.
These were written in 1992 by Bruce Conley. It’s 23 years later and they still apply.
1. You have a right to say time out. Take a break when you need it.
2. You have a right to tell it like it is. When people ask you how you feel, go ahead and tell them.
3. You have the right to some “bah humbug” days.
4. You have the right to do things differently.
5. You have the right to be where you want to be.
6. You have the right to some fun. It’s okay to laugh. It doesn’t mean you have forgotten your loved one.
7. You have the right to change direction in mid-stream. Holiday grief is unpredictable. It’s okay to change your mind about something you were going to do.
8. You have the right to do things at different times. You don’t have to follow the “holiday clock”. Open presents at a different time. Eat at a different time.
9. You have a right to rest, peace and solitude. Actually, it’s important that you rest a lot and recharge.
10. You have a right to do it all differently next year.