My Wish List
I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and were important and I need to hear their name.
If I cry and get emotional if we talk about my loved one, I wish you knew that it isn't because you hurt me: the fact that they died causes my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.
I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good cry my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.
Being bereaved 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, fear, hopelessness and questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.
I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in 6 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 forevermore be recovering from my bereavement.
I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses and be accident prone; all of which are related to my grief.
My loved one's birthday, the anniversary of their death and the holidays can be terrible times for us. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking of us on these days. And if I get quiet and withdrawn, just know that I are thinking about my loved one and don't try to coerce me into being cheerful.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 my beloved died and I will never 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 this different me — I'm the one who'll be here from now on.
- Author unknown