Code of Conduct

Originally, I asked that people who register leave an emergency contact phone number.  I am no longer asking that.  While you do need to give us a working email address, we want to honor your right to privacy so we won’t ask for  any other personal information.

The Code of Conduct is basic. Respect.  Courtesy.  Kindness.  No obscenities.  No spam, advertising yourself or your products, and no solicitations.  That’s what we expect from people who visit this site. This site is for people who are hurting. Please read the following Code because by visiting here  you’re agreeing to abide by it.  I want as many of you as possible to take part, comment, and post and to do that, you need to respect these rules.

Please keep cross-talk (telling people what to do, giving advice and opinions when not requested) minimal other than offering words of encouragement, strength, and hope.  If asked for suggestions however, please feel free to respond.

You don’t know how other people feel even if you’ve had a similar experience.  Don’t assume – ask. It’s the polite thing to do.

Feel free to start a group based on your particular loss or one you’re interest in.  After a group forms, a forum can then begin.   We need you to take an active interest in this site and participate to keep it going.  This site’s primary purpose is to offer a safe place for people in grief.  While you’ll find some products in the gift shop — affiliates for flowers and baskets, books and music, plus hand-made comfort quilts and walking sticks (to take the place of canes) and a few other products, this site is a not-for-profit one.  Any proceeds earned will help defray expenses. That means I need to earn a living, which means I’ll be here as much as I can but can’t be here all the time. It’s up to you, if you want this site to grow and keep going,  to help keep it alive with your comments, questions, quotes, articles, and presence.  Take the initiative by starting, engaging in, and participating in groups, forums, and chat rooms.  If you want me to hold a seminar in the chat rooms ask, and I will.   Give and receive support.  The group needs the wisdom of those further down the path and we need newcomers too. That’s the magic combination that can make a site like this  a force for empowerment and healing. It’s also what gives groups magic and makes them work.

Respect other people’s privacy.  Please DO NOT USE YOUR REAL NAME for your user name.  You might feel like you don’t care if the entire world knows about what you’re going through.  You may prefer it.  But later on, you might care and regret over-exposure of your most intimate thoughts and feelings.  Like they say in some recovery meetings, “Let what you read here, stay here.  Here!  Here!  Respect your own and other people’s anonymity and confidentiality.

Some losses include pain you believe other people created. Maybe they did.  But  you do not have the right to invade their privacy by using real names and writing about them, especially if it casts them in a negative light. We want you to journal and post about your emotions and experiences.  But don’t use other people’s real names or discuss them in such a way that others can name who you’re talking about. Even if you’re going to make a positive tribute to a child, for instance, either have it be your own child or get the child’s parents’ permission first.  If people see anything posted here about themselves that they didn’t post (or about their child) and they’re uncomfortable with it, just email support inside using your own mail box, and we’ll take the post or picture down.  Respect everyone’s privacy, including your own.

The law doesn’t allow us to make negative comments about others or discuss publicly (and Members Only is public) personal details of their lives or experiences that cast them in a negative light.  The rule of thumb is that the pubic cannot be able to identify this person.  We’ll check your posts and if we feel that any posts invade people’s privacy, we’ll remove them even if we’re not contacted.  Please don’t take offense.  We’re saving you and ourselves from potential and  unnecessary problems.  Following the Golden Rule is a guiding ideal:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Don’t tell others that they’re grieving wrong or incorrectly, and then tell them to do it like you.  Grief is a personal and unique experience. What’s right for you may not work for someone else.  We’ll each find our way through.  Trust and believe in other people.  Life will guide them through a unique maze of experiences that help them discover what they need to heal.  You can talk in “I or “me” terms, such as this is what I did and it helped or this worked for me.   Rescuing doesn’t help either. Please don’t disguise spam or advertising as “helpful comments.”  You’ll lose your membership here for a while.

Avoid the “My pain is bigger and worse than yours” game.  Grief isn’t a competition.

Don’t let the Code of Conduct prevent you from getting what you need or sharing with others.  If you’re sincere about your motives for being here, if you restrain your codependency and avoid trying to change or save others, showing respect for each person by using unconditional love, your behavior will be within the realms of proper conduct.

You agree – by your use of this site – that this is not professional therapy and Melody Beattie isn’t here  in the role of professional counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. She’s a writer.  This site operates on a friend-to-friend basis.  You also agree not to sue this site or Melody Beattie for any decisions you make based on information you get from this site.  By using this site, you agree to hold, Melody Beattie herself, and Melody & Company Inc. harmless and indemnify them from any damages you claim you incurred as a result of using the site, except in situations where governing laws disagree and prevail.

The most important Rules of all  is that you agree not to put yourself in harm’s way or cause harm to other people.  You will not threaten to or actually do either one. You will not intimidate anyone.    While grieving people often suffer from suicidal ideation (they may wish they were dead and didn’t have to go through this or wish they weren’t alive), posting that you’re going to bring harm to yourself or do harm to another is not allowed.  If you go that deeply into your grief, you need to seek immediate professional help by calling 911.   If suicidal ideation (which is normal) becomes that strong, prominent, and uncontrollable, you need more and more immediate help than you can get from The Grief Club site at  Please do the kind thing and get professional help for yourself.

Although the book The Grief Club – thanks to Hazelden’s generosity – will be available for you to read for free on this site, we are only allowed to publish one chapter at a time.  We’ll post chapters on a revolving, rotating basis, but we don’t allow downloading and we can’t archive them for your reading.

These rules aren’t suggestions.  They’re not here to make life more painful than it is, but we need everyone to  play nice to make this site a safe place.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions contact support at your mailbox inside. By using this site — the public or Members Only section — you show your agreement to follow the Code of Conduct.  If you don’t agree, please go no further. We’re sorry, but we need to ask you to leave.