This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

If you'd like to start from the beginning, click on the beautiful, adorable picture of Hailey on the right hand column.

You can also email me at:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Bereaved Parent's Wish List

A friend of mine just lost her only child, a beautiful son, to cancer a few weeks ago.  As I was thinking of ways to help her through her grief, I remembered something that I had found right after Hailey passed away.  It stated so perfectly how I felt that I had it put on the back of her funeral program.  

As I reread it before forwarding it on to my friend it surprised me how spot on every single statement still is for me, even after almost 3 years, so I thought I'd share with you all as a reminder of what the loss of a child does to the parents left behind:

A Bereaved Parent’s Wish List

1.  I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had them back.

2.  I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that they were 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 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.

5. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me.  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 me and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

7. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first few 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 very 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 to “not think about it” or to “be happy.” Neither will happen for a long time, so don’t frustrate yourself.

10. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be patient with me as I am with you.

11. When I say, “I’m doing okay,” I wish you could understand that I don’t “feel” okay and that I struggle daily.

12. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So, please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable or cranky.

13. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with them. I am not the same person I was before my child died and I will never be that person again.

14 . 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 understand.



  1. Wendy you and your family continue to amaze me, its truly amazing how much love still remains in your heart, its an inspiration for all people. I love this poem and wish there were more understanding people in the world, but I suppose there are exceptional people in the world like you and thay make up for the others. I continually pray for you and your family and have no doubt in my mind that Hailey is lookin down on you. The happiness that she gets to experince in heaven we can't even fathom here on earth. I hope that you know that iit is okay to cry, be angry mad and depressed and not feel for bad for feeling that way, they are very normay emotions. The good that you are doing for this world is nothing less than asstonishing. I truly believe that God does everything for a reason, just us as people can't not understand those reasons. I like to think of it as a loove and were underneath it and all we see is these knots and strings all tied up and it makes no sence but God is on the top making a beautiful picture. Stay strong and you may not be the same peerson but you are a wonderful one.

  2. Hi - you don't know me but I found your blog through another blog through another blog through another blog. Just wanted to tell you that I am so sorry for your loss, but everytime I see lellow peesh I think of your little girl and make a mental note to hug my own kids a little tighter that day. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. I am a newly bereaved parent. My son died suddenly (accidentally) almost 14 weeks ago. Everything in your list is so true. If only everyone else would read and understand your points.
    I have been searching online for blogs and websites by and for bereaved parents. I've consolidated all the sites into one site
    I've added your blog so that I could continue to follow it and so that other parents can find it more easily.