Author Topic: New Board Guidelines  (Read 3451 times)

Terry

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    • “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” –Vicki Harrison
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New Board Guidelines
« on: March 17, 2012, 07:56:54 PM »
ABOUT THESE MESSAGE BOARDS

These boards serve a dual purpose for grievers.

These are places where we, the bereaved, may come for comfort and understanding, and they are also places where we come to express deep feelings, including negative feelings such as fear, anger or frustration. Over the several years of the boards' operations, we've found that this dual purpose is best served when we treat one another with kindness, acceptance, and respect.

For the most part, the purpose of these boards are to share your own story of grief, and to offer appropriate consolation to other grievers. But we grievers are vulnerable people, undergoing the worst experience of our lives, and we have strong feelings about many issues. At times, we will disagree, sometimes strongly. Disagreement is acceptable. Strong feelings and strong language is acceptable. Out-and-out attacks are not.

ARE MESSAGES EVER DELETED?

Yes, although the Web Team greatly prefers not to delete messages. We do not favor members of a particular "clique" or enforce "party line" other than what is stated here. When possible, board participants are urged to take a volatile discussion off-line before deletion becomes necessary.

The Web team reserves the right to delete these types of messages:

1. personal attacks or out-and-out insults directed toward other board participants. Common sense helps a lot in knowing what not to post. "I can't believe you're that stupid" will probably disappear from the board. "I disagree because..." will not, even if the rest of the message content is substantially identical.

2. posts that divulge intimate details of another board participant's personal life without their permission, particularly if no one else on the board needs to know (e.g. "outing" someone, reporting on their drug or alcohol consumption habits, etc.)

3. aggressively directive advice, particularly if it is deemed hurtful by either the Webmaster or the recipient (e.g. "Get over it. It's been six months.")

4. posts that disparage the state of someone's soul, or of their loved one's soul, or that disparage someone else's particular expression of spirituality. You are welcome to discuss your opinion, or what has worked for you, or what hasn't worked for you, but try to avoid telling someone else, "You are flat-out wrong." about spiritual matters.

5. posts that are proven to be fraudulent.

6. blatant advertisement

7.  posts that contain language that is considered to be threatening, harassing, libelous, sexually graphic, or demeaning of another person or group because of their race, creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, age, or abilities.

8. posts that disrupt the normal operations of this site. These can be posts that contain html which causes our scripts to malfunction, links to other sites that contain material deemed unfit for our site, etc.

ANY "SENSITIVE" TOPICS?

Some of the best discussions we have had revolve around "sensitive" topics. But, please realize that many kinds of posts may draw more criticism than you anticipate. Of course you may discuss these things, but be prepared for some heat, and please use extra tact with others, while wearing your own "thickest skin."
One of our fathers used to say, "Everyone has a responsibility not to offend others, but everyone also has a responsibility not to be too easily offended."

Some examples:

1. Comparing grief.
Is it worse to have a child die, or a parent die? Is it worse to face the death of a young child, or an older child? This topic always manages to infuriate almost everyone. We always arrive at the same conclusion -- every grief contains within it its own entire Universe of Hell, and it is difficult to compare Infinities. Handle with care.

2. "I found this wonderful, comforting poem/scripture verse/quote from a book."
The poem or quote that speaks so beautifully to your heart may push every angry button for another griever. Please post the poetry and quotations that you love, but realize that not everyone will love them. If someone responds unkindly, please try to realize that their problem is with some aspect of the quote, and not with you.

3. Certain language.

4. Sensitive social topics.
Many social topics today can affect us directly in our grief. When discussing issues such as abortion, civil rights, gay rights, gun control, and other topics like these, please be mindful that there are others who come here with grief directly related to these circumstances. Treat these topics with respect and care.

We don't censor specific language here, as long as it's not angrily directed at another participant, but certain expressions may temporarily lower the amount of respect other participants have for you!

1. Bad words.
Different people have much different standards of expressive language. Realize that some of the participants on these boards are school-age children, some are elderly, some have strict religious backgrounds, and some just come from a culture where decent people never speak this way, while others of us come from Los Angeles :->. Handle with care, and realize that you may be obscuring the true flavor of your message if it is too heavily salted with profanity.

2. Joking around.
It happens. Some of us have come to be friends over the years and are very relaxed with one another, and some of us have personalities that deal with grief and pain by escaping into light banter. Please remember that the presence of joking does not mean that the jokers do not grieve, or that they disrespect your grief, or that this has become the "joky" board. Jocular posts go in cycles, and often people will stop joking, if asked politely. If you are inclined to joke, please remember that it greatly upsets some people.

3. Loaded words or expressions.
We all have certain expressions or terms that drive us crazy, even if the rest of the world, even the grieving world, has no problem with them. Some examples might be: "lost", "closure", "cremains", "the stages of grief", etc. Use what terminology you must, but don't be surprised if someone else has a problem with it. Often a respectful conversation about the reason for the attitude will prove instructive for all concerned.

4. Clichéd condolences.
Similar to "loaded words", these are common expressions of condolence that tend to horrify and upset grievers. Other grievers tend not to use them, but sometimes other well-meaning folks will. Examples:

She is better off.

God needed him.

We don't always know God's plan for us.

She wouldn't want you to be sad.

Only the good die young.

You need to stay strong.

Better now than later.

They lived a long life.

Parents are supposed to die first.

You know she's in peace.

At least you have closure now.

You must be so relieved.

God only picks the prettiest flowers for His garden.

For pity's sake, please think before you use a "canned condolence."

(If there is a word or phrase that is being used on the board that deeply hurts/upsets you, please send me a PM. Your request will be kept in strictest confidence and we will be glad to add it to the list above.)

ARE THE NON-BEREAVED WELCOME?
Absolutely. But, please respect our grief, treat us with kindness and compassion, and understand that we are hurting, vulnerable, and sometimes have a short fuse. Behave as you would when visiting a cemetery or any other sacred place. Please read the section above on "Clichéd Condolences."

ARE MEN WELCOME? Absolutely. ARE CHILDREN WELCOME? Again, absolutely. But, please tell your parents that you are accessing this board. Understand that from time to time, we will be discussing death in graphic terms, and, as emotionally upset adults, sometimes our language can become pretty raw. Please ask your parents to read this page, so that they will understand what this site is about, and please do not use it without their permission.

Health Care Professionals and Researchers should contact "Tom" at golden@webhealing.com, before posting.

Thank You,
The Web Team
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 06:33:04 PM by Terry »
"One thing I've learned on this journey (it's been a year and a few days since my husband, Tom, died of cancer), is that in the beginning, there is a lot of the one-step-forward-two-steps-back shuffle." - RobinBlue - Spouse Loss