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A Wish List For Those Around You

Guest SteveG

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Guest SteveG

A Wish List…

(A little something for those around you)

• 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 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 bereavement.

• 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 And if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about them and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.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 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 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

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  • 4 months later...

This is so beautiful. I think sometimes people forget how to speak/act/behave around people that have gone through a loss. My best friend's dad passed on New Year's morning. I feel for their whole family because I always felt like a family member. I know it's not quite the same, but people I work with just don't understand. They expect me to "get over it" quickly. I'm a human being with lots of feelings all mixed up and crazy. I can't just "get over it" much less quickly. The strange thing is not one person asked me what my needs are... they just assume. They assume that because I cry at my desk or can't stay focused that I need counseling. They assume that I need to be entertained and to keep my mind off of my feelings, which is not what I want or need to do. I need/want to be able to experience all the mixed up and crazy feelings that I'm going through. I need to feel all of these feelings so that I can validate them. I'll never get passed feelings that I cannot validate.

Thanks for letting me vent. It's another one of those crazy mixed up feelings.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, at my mom's funeral home, they give you a fully cooked turkey when you leave! Heh. I'm a vegetarian, but it was nice gesture.

I don't wish for much from other people, actually. I don't expect understanding. People are busy and going on with their lives.

But I did get these lovely words of wisdom from a 25ish year old nurse at the hospital. I had been in the hosptial with my dying mother for about 12 hours. I was kind of numb when this girl comes in to take mom's vitals. She looks at me and says, "Are you married?" Nope. "Oh, you should be. It would make this easier."

Which is probably true. Being married with kids would probably distract me. And when you have kids you simply must function because that's your role in the universe, to care for them.

But I did want to shake her. Or tell her to get a [profanity] clue.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you SteveG for your message. I wish everyone around me read this - which is impossible. But can I send it to ma friends - then they might understand it better? If you don't mind ...

My dearest friend died at the age of 32 six weeks ago. He had cancer. It is hard going to work, meeting people who knew him (he worked at the same place as I do - not the same job though, I am a reporter and he was a technician at the radio) and they don't say a word about him. Are they afraid they would "remind" me of my pain? I think about it and about him all the time!

I can't go out with my friends, I wouldn't cope with "girl-talk" as they would probably want, to "cheer me up" ... I rarely answer the phone. Nothing is like it used to be and it will never be! I can't talk to people about everyday things - I can't pretend everything is normal. It might not be fair to them, but I just can't ...

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