The Final Weeks Of Group

We explored a few more topics over the last few weeks of the nine week session, none more timely or charged than the holidays. The holidays have taken on a whole new dimension this year, and there are several reasons for that….but unfortunately, I’m not going into them here. It turns out that these feelings and thoughts are too close to the vest to openly explore with everyone – maybe in the future sometime. What I am willing to share is that the holidays are a really difficult time for us. For one, we are missing Liam. It’s hard to see all of this unabashed cheer and thankfulness without crashing back quickly to reality. It’s not that we don’t have things to be thankful for or happy about, but; well I don’t need to explain it to you. As the weather has turned colder, the memories of last year at this time are hard and fast. I think that the combination of the season and the time of year have made it especially hard right now.

The group is done. We have had nine weeks of amazing conversation, and incredible sharing. We will have a reunion in January, and we will stay in touch with these beautiful people for many years to come. I’m not sure what exactly I got out of the group, beyond weekly introspection, but I feel a little better than when we started. We have made some great new friends, and we have learned about some awesome kids. I will miss the routine and the faces of the meetings, but we have discovered some new avenues to continue this process.

I am going to repost the Bereaved Parents Wish List that we put up here not long after Liam died. It seems relevant again, and applicable as we are slipping into a more turbulent time. If we are being ‘grinches’ this season, you don’t have to fix it, just let us be. If we are being quiet, introspective, or step away…don’t take it personally, it’s cool. We have limits.

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.


  1. I just want you both to know I am thinking about you.

  2. We love you!

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