Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wise Words

We have now been in a wide variety of situations as grieving parents and as a grieving family, and my heart truly goes out to those I meet who really feel at a loss as to how to talk to us. I happened to stumble across this "wish list" and found it very appropos. For those of you who are reading this and are part of our lives, please don't misunderstand and think that you somehow haven't been of tremendous comfort to us. You absolutely have been. I just feel that, as someone who is now, and will always be, grieved and changed by the loss of our Rafa, that part of the learning behind this experience is to educate. To bring to light a topic and a new way of life that is never discussed, but that so many of us are dealing with. Take from this what you will.

A Bereaved Parent's Wish List

(Author Unknown)

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 also.

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 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 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 those 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 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 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 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.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I do miss Rafa very much. So many of these things make sense and I appreciate your willingness to say them.
    Love always.

  2. Yes, thank you for sharing these thoughts. Much love.

  3. Thank you for sharing this... I think about Rafa every day.

  4. Thank you for posting this. I'm so sorry that Rafa passed Ireland passed away recently and the struggles are daily. I sure wish that I could just stamp this list across my forehead so that others could understand. ....saying prayers for you and your family and friends...Chanda

  5. Thanks for sharing this, it makes so much sense.
    I do miss Rafa a lot. I think of him daily, and talk about him daily too. (So does my mom.)