This list is adapted from something that the hospital gave us and another parent had put together. It is our hope that you read this and it will hopefully allow you to feel more comfortable around and with us. This is a very difficult time for everyone, and we know that none of us really know what to do or say.
– We wish that Liam hadn’t died. We wish that we had him back.
– We wish that you won’t be afraid to speak Liam’s name. He lived and was very important to us. We need to hear that he was important to you also.
– If we cry and get emotional when you talk about Liam, we wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt us. Liam’s death is the cause of our tears. You have talked about him, and you have allowed us to share in our grief. We thank you for both.
– Being a bereaved parent isn’t contagious, so please don’t shy away from us. We need you now more than ever.
– We need diversions, so we do want to hear about you, your family, and your life. But we also want you to hear about us. We might be sad or cry, but please also let us talk about Liam.
– We know that you think and pray for us often. We also know that Liam’s death pains you, too. We wish you would let us know these things through a phone call, a card, a note, an e-mail, a text, or a real big hug.
– We wish that you won’t expect our grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for us, but we hope that you understand that our grief will never be over. We will suffer the loss of Liam until the day that we die.
– We are working very hard in our recovery, but we wish you could understand that we will never fully recover. We will always miss Liam, and we will always grieve that he is dead.
– We wish that you wouldn’t expect us not to think about it or to be happy. Neither will happen for a very long time, so don’t frustrate yourself.
– We don’t want to have a pity party, but we do wish you would let us grieve. We must hurt before we can heal.
– We wish you understood how our lives have shattered. We know it is miserable for you to be around us when we’re feeling miserable. Please be as patient with us as we are with you.
– When we say we are doing okay, we wish you could understand that we don’t feel okay and that we struggle daily.
– We wish you knew that all of the grief reactions we are having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse us when we are quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.
– Your advice to ‘take one day at a time’ is excellent advice. However, sometimes a day is too much and too fast for us right now. We wish that you could understand that sometimes the best way is a minute or an hour at a time.
– We hope that if you see us out and about that you say hi. We might be smiling or laughing, joking or having a good time – that’s okay to do. Please don’t think that it’s because we are not appropriately grieving.
– Please excuse us if we are rude, it is certainly not our intent. Sometimes the world around us goes by too fast, and we need to get off. When we walk away, please let us find a quiet place to spend some time alone.
– We wish you understood that grief changes people. When Liam died, a big part of us died with him. We are not the same people that we were before Liam died, and we will never be those people again.
– We wish very much that you could understand – understand our loss and our grief, our silence and our tears, our void and our pain. But we pray daily that you will never, ever understand.