"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Words from a bereaved parent.

I received the following from my cousin via email. One of her facebook friends shared this with her after the loss of that friends child. Number's 1-17 are the original words written by "a bereaved parent". I added 18-21...because I had more to add to the list! I then realized, as I finished, that I had ended at number 21. Which is interesting, since Down syndrome is a third copy of the 21st chromosome.

. I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had her back.
2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak her name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that she was important to you also.
3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.
4. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever. I need diversions, so I want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me.
5. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.
6. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card or a note, or a real big hug.
7. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in 6 months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.
8. I am working hard on my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that she is dead.
9. I wish you wouldn't expect me not to think about it or to be happy. Neither will happen for a long time, so don't frustrate yourself.
10. I don't want to have a "pity party" but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.
11. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I am feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.
12. When I say "I'm doing OK" I wish you could understand that I don't feel OK that I struggle daily.
13. I wish you knew that all the grief reactions I am having are all very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I am quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.
14. Your advice to take one day at a time is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish that you could understand that I'm doing good to handle one hour at a time right now.
15. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.
16. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with her. I'm not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.
17. I wish very much that you could understand; understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT, I pray daily that you will never HAVE to understand.......
*18. I wish that others would not try to compare their loss of a parent, sibling or spouse to the loss of my child. I don't compare my loss to yours.
*19. I wish others would stop telling me, "it gets easier in time."
*20. I wish others would stop saying, "life goes on." My life ended on April 23, 2010 at 12:05pm; or at least, my life as I knew it ended.
*21. I wish people wouldn't assume my daughter was "sick" and that's why she died or because "she was born with Down syndrome and they don't live long anyway", because she wasn't sick and Down syndrome doesn't kill you.


Kristen said...

Very good list. You are helping to teach the "world" on how we can be better friends and support to a bereaved parent, which is helping us learn how to be better people. Thank you for that!


Unknown said...

this was good..this was good to educate me...I have been timid to comment...because I do not know what to say...but know that I enjoyed every minute of watching Carly grow through your writings and pictures...my husband and I still talk about Carly...just know we remember ...smiles

Stephanie said...

I'm glad you posted this list. I never know what to say, or write. I don't want to say something that might make you feel worse. Most times I just read and don't leave a comment. Some people leave you such beautiful comments, they seem to know just what to say. I usually just sit here crying.

This is a very good list.

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

I've lost many relatives; aunts, uncles, and grandparents. All very dear to me and a painful loss, regardless the age or medical condition. Then I lost my father and it was even a greater loss than I ever imagined. Even in losing my father, I knew it was harder and different for my mother. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to lose my child. So I agree, you cannot compare those losses to the loss of a child. Even though it gives me some understanding of how hard it is to get over, it cannot in any way help me understand what you are going through.

Thanks for the list. They are great reminders.

Continuing to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Team Carter Jay said...

Thank you so much for sharing this list. It tells me that all of my feelings are normal, and AMEN to #21.

MaryAnn said...

I am a Sammy's mom, MaryAnn....He went to live with our Lord on January 1st 09. Here is my blog address. If it is ok I would like to put your list on my blog. Please let me know if it is ok. Thank you


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Denise said...

I know I kind of wrote this once before to you but I can't tell you how much you are teaching me through this process as well. All of the things on this list are things that I wouldn't have known to do or understand about how someone is feeling. I so wish I lived close enough to give you that hug you needed or to try to be the friend you need! I will try to do my best from afar, but I know it isn't the same.