Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Grief Wish List

This isn't something that I wrote, the author is unknown, but it was given to us after the "Fall Family Day: Getting Back to 'Normal'" at Children's Hospital, and I thought I would share it with people. Maybe it will help you understand us a little bit better or be more relaxed around us. (I edited it a little bit, putting in Danni's name and "she" and what-not.)

My Grief Wish List 

1. I wish you would not be afraid to speak Danielle's name. She lived and was important and I need to hear her name. 

2. If I cry or get emotional if we talk about Danni, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me; the fact she has died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

3. I wish you wouldn't let Danni die again by removing from your home her pictures, artwork, or other remembrances.

4. I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good day my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day, I need psychiatric counseling.

5. I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn't compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse, or a pet.

6. Being a bereaved person is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't stay away from me.

7. I wish you knew all the crazy grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, and hopelessness, and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for us. As with alcoholics, I will never be 'cured' or a 'formerly bereaved, but forever be 'recovering' from my bereavement.

9. I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop alot of illnesses and be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

10. Danni's birthday, the anniversary of her death and the holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking about her on these days and if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about her and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.

11. 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 hurt before and I can heal.

12. I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before Danielle died and I never will 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 the new me: maybe you will still like me.


  1. I like you, Sarah! Just the way you are. Danielle made you even more special.