This list is adapted from a friend’s Facebook post (with permission) and a list published by Children’s Hospital of Colorado.
BEREAVED PARENT’S WISH LIST:
1. I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had my child back.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.
5. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child.
6. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in a certain amount of time. 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.
7. 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 my child is gone.
8. I wish you wouldn’t expect me to “not think about it” or to “move on.” Neither will happen, so don’t frustrate yourself.
9. When I say, “I’m doing okay,” I wish you could understand that I don’t “feel” okay and that I struggle daily.
10. 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 So, please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable or cranky.
11. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died as well. I am not the same person I was before my child died and I will never be that person again.
12. 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 am so very thankful you don’t share my experience.