What do we wish others understood about the loss of our child?
Here is a partial list of such wishes:
wish you would not be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child
lived and was very important and I need to hear his name.
wish you wouldn’t feel awkward if I mention his name.
I cry or get emotional if we talk about my child, I wish you
knew that it isn’t because you hurt me: the fact that my child
died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank
you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.
wish you wouldn’t “kill” my child again by removing from your
home his picture, artwork, or other remembrances.
will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you
wouldn’t think that if I have a good day my grief is all over,
or if I
have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.
wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other
losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy
and I wish you wouldn’t compare it to the loss of a parent,
spouse or pet.
Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you
wouldn’t shy away from me.
wish you knew that all the “crazy” grief reactions that I am
having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration,
hopelessness, the questioning of values and beliefs are to be
expected following the death of a child.
wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. The
first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for us.
with alcoholics, I will never be “cured” or a “former bereaved
parent,” but will forever be a “recovering bereaved parent.”
wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain
or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, lose my
develop a host of illness and be accident prone, all of which
may be related to my grief.
Our child’s birthday, the anniversary of his death, and the
holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us
that you are
thinking about our children these days and if we get quiet and
withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about our child and
don’t try to coerce us into being cheerful.
is normal and good that most of us re-examine our faith, values
and beliefs after losing a child. We will question things we
have been taught all our lives and hopefully come to some new
understanding with God. I wish you would let me tangle with my
making me feel
wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same
person I was before my child died, and I will never be that
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 will like me still.