I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had my child back.

I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that my child was important to you also.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child; my favourite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over. The months/years are traumatic for me, and the first ones are especially difficult, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child and I will always grieve that my child is gone.

I wish you wouldn’t expect me “not to think about it” or “be happy”. Neither will happen for a very long time, so don’t frustrate yourself.

I don’t want to have a “pity party”, but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am trying to be with you.

When I say, “I’m doing okay”, I wish you could understand that I don’t “feel” okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to “take it one day at a time” is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle an hour at a time.

Please excuse me if I seem rude, it’s certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

I wish you wouldn’t let my child die again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

I wish very much that you could understand; understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT I pray daily that you will never understand.

I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish that you wouldn’t think that if I have a good day my grief is over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counselling.

I wish you knew that the death of a child/sibling is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn’t compare it to other losses.

I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses or be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

Our loved one’s birthday, the anniversary of the death and the holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking of them on these days. And if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about them and don’t try to coerce us into being cheerful.

I wish you wouldn’t offer to take me out for a drink or to a party, this is just a temporary crutch and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it.

I wish that you knew that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my loved one died and I never will be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to ‘get back to my old self’, you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try to get to know the new me – maybe you’ll still like me.

Author Unknown

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