• I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and are important and I need to hear their name.

  • If I cry or get emotional when we talk about my loved one, I wish you new it isn't because you have hurt me; the fact that they have died has caused my tears. If you allow me to cry, I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

  • I wish you wouldn't let my loved one die again by removing from your home his pictures, artwork or other remembrances.

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

  • I wish you knew that the death of a child/sibling is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn't compare it to other losses.

  • Being a bereaved parent isn't contagious, so I wish you wouldn't stay away from me.

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

  • 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 'formally bereaved', but for evermore be recovering from my bereavement.

  • 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 a host of illnesses or be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

  • Our loved one's birthday, the anniversary of the death and the holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking of 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 And if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about them and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.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 hurt before and I can heal.

  • I wish that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my loved one 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'll still like me.

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