The Mourner’s Bill of Rights

A Canadian friend of mine (we met because our husbands worked together) was in the throes of suffering the breakup of her marriage when their college age, athletic, God-honoring (he is one of the founders of the Wellspring mission) son was killed on his bicycle by an elderly driver after he had been training that day for a marathon.  How can the value of a  life be quantified?  If it were possible, Ben’s life would rank very high!  So we share similar experiences, though hers came first.  I have blogged previously about her son, Bulldozer Ben.

God has turned Helga’s life in a new direction.  Instead of Ben being the one to bring people closer to God, it is Helga who is doing God’s work on earth — comforting the grieving.  She has set up a grief consulting specialty including individual counseling, writing a blog, authoring books, she is an award-winning speaker, plus she will be returning to Fort McMurray in northern Alberta with families who were burned out this spring to assist them in their trek to move forward using her expertise.

She recently posted The Mourner’s Bill of Rights in her blog post of June 3, 2016:

The Mourner’s Bill of Rights:
1. I have the right to experience my own personal, unique grief.
2. I have the right to embrace my grief and heal.
3. I have the right to feel many different emotions including surges of grief.
4. I have the right to treasure my memories.
5. I have the right to respect my own physical and emotional limits.
6. I have the right to talk about my grief.
7. I have the right to embrace my spirituality.
8. I have the right to search for meaning.

I love this release she gives to those in deep pain from loss.  Sadly, too often those in grief lack the freedom to express their sorrow.  Some do not want to hear about the sadness and expect the grieving person to “move on” before it is emotionally their time.  Others who have suffered loss bury their grief and deny themselves the privilege of  sharing their thoughts.  Of course, #5 gives that prerogative to mourners.  For me, sharing brings relief and joy to my soul.

Because I am one who treasures memories and scrapbook them, the permission to dwell on my sad memories, as well as the sweet ones, is precious and brings comfort.

The search for meaning brings purpose to my posts.  My blog’s name,”Deciphering Life,”  describes my quest to discover what God is trying to teach me, how I can become a better person — useful to God and to mankind.

If you know someone in grief, share Helga’s statement on The Mourner’s Bill of Rights!


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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