Friday, December 16, 2011
A Bereaved Parent’s Wishlist
A Facebook friend and blog friend shared this on her blog and I felt I should share it on mine as well (altered to our situation). It's food for thought and it speaks for itself. I'm so thankful for the friends that have been there for me. I am in a much better place in my life now because of you.
I wish my children hadn’t died. I wish I had them back. I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak of my children. My children are very important to me. I need to hear that they were important to you also. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my children, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My childrens' deaths are the cause of my tears. You have talked about my children and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you now 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 children; my favorite topic of the day. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my childrens' deaths pains you too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over. These first years are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will grieve the death of my children until the day I die. I am working hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my children and I will always grieve that they are dead. I wish you wouldn’t expect me “not to think about them” or “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 So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.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 it one day at a time” is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle an hour at a time. Please excuse me if I seem rude, 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 spend time alone. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my children died, a big part of me died with them. I am not the same person I was before my children died and I will never be that person again. I wish very much that you could understand, understand my loss and my grief. But I pray daily that you will NEVER understand.