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 a 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

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.

Our loved one’s birthday, the anniversary of their death and the holidays can be terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking of us and them on these days. And if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about them and don’t try to coerce us into being cheerful.

I wish your wouldn’t offer to take me out for a drink, or to a party, this is 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