Friday, January 27, 2012

My Grief Wish List

I also posted this a while, but again it got lost and deleted, so I am re-posting it. The author is unknown, and I changed the wording a little to reflect about our loss of Danielle, but the meaning is still the same.

My Grief Wish List
I wish you would not be afraid to speak my child's name. She lived and was important and I need to hear her name.

If I cry or get emotional if we talk about Danielle, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me; the fact that she died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

I wish you wouldn't let Danielle die again my removing from your home her pictures, artwork, or other remembrances.

I will have emotional highs and lows, up and down. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good day my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day, I need psychiatric counseling.

I 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 your loss of a parent, 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 all the crazy grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, and hopelessness and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for me. As with alcoholics, I will never be "cured" or a "formerly bereaved," but forever be "recovering" from my bereavement.

I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a lot of illness and be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

My baby's birthday, the anniversary of her death, and the holidays are terrible times for me. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking about her on these days and if I get quiet and withdrawn, just know that I am thinking about her and don't try to coerce me into being cheerful.

I wish you wouldn't offer to take me out for a drink or to a party. This is just a temporary crutch and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before Danielle died and I never will be that person again. If 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 still like me.

No comments: