I did not write this. This was on a blog that I read. I thought it was worth sharing. When we lost Evan and the other babies, there were many people who just didn’t know what to do or say or how to act. I understand. I didn’t know before that either. There were people who hurt me because they did or said the “wrong” thing. Or worse, they didn’t say or do anything at all. They didn’t mean to hurt me but it’s hard to get over that kind of thing. Phillip and I were transformed over that 2 years. We came out of that time different people than we were going into it. I hope that no one you love ever loses a child. But if they do, this might give you a little insight into how they feel and ways that you can be a good friend for them.
A Bereaved Parent’s Wish List
I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had him 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 he was important to you as well.
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.
I wish you wouldn’t “kill” my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.
Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you 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 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 things through a phone call, a card or 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 until the day I die.
I am working very 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 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 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 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 one day at a time” is excellent. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle it all at an hour at a time.
I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. 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 – 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.