A Grief Wish List

  1. I wish you would not be afraid to say Clea’s name. She lived and is important. I need to hear her name.
  2. 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.
  3. I wish you would not remove Clea’s things from your home.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Being a bereaved person is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t stay away from me.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all.
  10. Clea’s birthday, her death day and holidays are terrible times for me. Please do not try to coerce me into being cheerful.
  11. I wish you wouldn’t invite me out for a drink or a party. That is just a temporary crutch.
  12. 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).

About huntersoledad

Mother of three. Bereaved mother of one. Survivor and victim of 2009 Samoan tsunami. Could be if would be writer.
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