- I wish you would not be afraid to say Clea’s name. She lived and is important. I need to hear her name.
- If I cry or get emotional when I talk about Clea, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me; the fact Clea has died has caused my tears. If you allow me to cry, thank you. Crying is healing.
- I wish you would not remove Clea’s things from your home.
- I will have highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn’t think that if I have a good day then my grief is over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counselling.
- I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses. It is the ultimate tragedy. Please do not compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse or a pet.
- Being a bereaved person is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t stay away from me.
- I wish you knew that all of these ‘crazy’ grief reactions are normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected.
- I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in two years. I will never be cured. I will be forever recovering from the loss of Clea.
- I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all.
- Clea’s birthday, her death day and holidays are terrible times for me. Please do not try to coerce me into being cheerful.
- I wish you wouldn’t invite me out for a drink or a party. That is just a temporary crutch.
- I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before Clea died and I will never be that person again. Please do not wait for that person to return. I am a new person. You may even like this new person.
(source unknown – paraphrased and revised from The Compassionate Friends information sheet).