A Bereaved Parent's Wish List


I wish my child hadn't died.

I wish I had her back.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you would know 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 wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork or other rememberences from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more then 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 favorite 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 those things through a phone call, a card, a note or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child untill the day I die.

I am working very hard on 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 he is dead.

I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy" Neither will happen for a very long time.

I don't want to have a "pity party" but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I heal.

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

When I say,"I am 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 that I'm having are normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness, and overwhelming saddness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is to much and fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I am doing good to handle one hour at a time.

Please excuse me if I seem rude, that'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 be alone.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with her. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

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

© 1998 Kathy Freeman