Bereaved Parent’s Wish List

This list is adapted from a friend’s Facebook post (with permission) and a list published by Children’s Hospital of Colorado.


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 So, please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable or cranky.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.  


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

12 thoughts on “Bereaved Parent’s Wish List”

  1. All of these wishes still apply to me almost six and a half years down the line Melaine as I’m sure they still apply to you.

    I’d add another wish in my case….I wish people would also see that Luke’s siblings have also been affected by is suicide. Their lives have been changed foreve. It has had an impact on their mental health and the way they see the world and their ability to function in it 💔

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must admit, for the first couple of years, I used to think “If I had one wish, I’d wish Kari would not have died, but still be here with us, healthy and whole and with a baby or two”. But lately I’ve realised there’s something I wish even more than that. I wish my other daughter (and her new husband) would find her way back to Jesus and have a genuine encounter with Him and a lifelong relationship with Him.
    As much as I miss Kari (and you know the depth of that), she is now safe with Jesus, but if something happened with Tiana, I’m not sure where she would be. She did make a profession of faith when young, but I’m not sure how genuine or heart-changing it was. Only God knows for sure. She’s not living for Jesus now 😥. I never thought I’d want anything more than Kari, but I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I relate very much to this. My oldest son really struggles, sometimes the fear of where life is headed and the heartbreak of watching him fail to life a life in Christ is harder than grieving is younger brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie, I’m so happy that I found this site. It was through a sister in Christ, Molly Howze, that I saw this! She doesn’t realize how she encourages me. She lost her precious daughter, Cassie almost 6 months ago!
    I lost my oldest grandson, Anthony, who was raised by my husband and I. We had him from birth, so he was our child. I lost him twice! Once when he left to live with our daughter in 2000, then in 2008 in an automobile accident in Atlanta. I can relate to everything on the wishlist and some! Anthony was almost 22 when he left us! My whole life changed on that day! I still now, and will always miss him. I wonder what he would be doing now, how he would look, etc. God has been my strength in this! Anthony would have been 31 on October 22,2017.
    Thank God I have Jesus, the avenue of prayer and time! These are the most important things that I cling to in dealing with our loss of him.
    The beauty in all of this is that Anthony left a son, Landon. When I say he not only looks just like his father, he does so many things just like him. His little toes and hands are just like his fathers. We don’t see him as often as we’d like because he lives with our daughter in Atlanta. When we do, it gives us so much joy! He can never replace Anthony, but it helps us with our loss of Anthony! Landon is 9 years old now. He was only 2 months old when we lost Anthony. We try to give him as much of his father as we can with pictures, talking about things that he did, how silly he was at times and that his Daddy really loved him! Thank God that I kept things of Anthony that we have passed on to Landon. He has his rocking chair, first fire truck, his baseball glove, now he will get his first watch!
    I’m so grateful to be able to express my thoughts. I pray that it will help and encourage someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks be to God, I’m well [it is well with my soul] most of the time. Then, I wish……. She died 17 days before Nicole Simpson & Ron Goldman. Her death ctf reads “overkill”, yet her torture came nowhere close to getting the same amount of publicity. Matter of fact, she died the same day a Houston jogger was killed, his death receiving headlines/high mention while my 23 yr old only daughter, single mother of a 4 yr old, was tucked away near the back pages of section 2 or 3. But I’m grateful. I’ve met Ron’s father and I’m glad God didn’t allow me to be consistently burdened with that caliber of anger. The battle IS the Lord’s. Then I wish…….. Thank you for taking time to read this. When you remember me, say her name “NINA”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Melaine, as I read your words and the wish list, I go back in time.
    19 years next month I lost my child. It changed me forever! Yes I wish him to be here, yes I still love for people to mention his name!!! There are other children of mine that I know I had to allow them to know how important they are to me, but also understand the love I will always have for the one not here.
    I have been at this a long time…until I take my last breath on this earth…I will miss him.
    We do have to find a way to go forward. You will… Your way…
    Men handle this different than women. It took me a while to figure that out.
    Your angel will always be missed. She will always be remembered for the sweetness in her little heart. She was blessed to have you to love on her and take such good care of her.

    Liked by 1 person

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