Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Bereaved Parent's Wish List

A fellow bereaved mom shared this with me today (thanks Brittianee!) and I wanted to post it. As a new year starts and the months continue to go by, I know people will think of us and Noah less and less. That absolutely breaks my heart. Because to the rest of the world Noah may be gone, but to me he is still my son. He is still the greatest person I ever knew, the greatest love I ever experienced and the happiest I've ever been. 

Today is his 14 month birthday. I miss you so much peanut. I'd do anything to see you running around getting into mischief. I can only imagine what you'd be doing. I wish I could know for sure. I wish I could hold you, hug you, kiss you. 

A Bereaved Parent's Wish List

1. I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak his name. He lived and was very important to me. I need to hear he was 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. His death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

4. I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

6.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 him, my favorite topic of the day.

7. I know that you think and pray for me often. I also know that his death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know these things with a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. The first 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 til the day I die.

9. I am working very hard on my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always love and miss him, and I will always grieve that he is gone.

10. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy." Neither will happen for a very long time.

11. I don't want a "pity party", but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

12. I wish you would understand how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I am miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

13. When I say, "I'm doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don't feel okay and I struggle daily.

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

15. Your advice to "take it one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

16. Please excuse me if I seem rude; it is certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me moves too fast and I need to go off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

17. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When he died, a huge part of me died with him. I am not the same person before he died, and I will never be that person again.

18. I wish very much that you could 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. Please know Noah will never be forgotten. Ever.
    Mary Sinjem

  2. thinking of you both.always.
    this wishlist is great. definitely what people not going through a loss need to read to understand better what we are going through.
    lots of love your way...

  3. That was beautiful Jenna... I hope to never have to feel your pain... But do know my shoulder is always here for you and my hand is aways open! Miss you!


  4. These wise words are so helpful for everyone that cares about you. I am so glad you are getting so much love and support from so many. Sending hugs your way--Love, Linda Corbett

  5. Jenna,

    You, Scott and Noah are on my mind everyday. I think God puts you in my thoughts so I don't forget to pray for you and your family to find peace and strength to get through each day. I will never stop praying for you.

    Do the best you can to enjoy each day although it may seem impossible at times because I am sure this is what Noah wants for you.

    Remember that happiness is reminiscing about yesterday, looking forward to tomorrow and living today completely.

    Here is a poem I thought you would enjoy about being a mommy.

    I thought of you and closed my eyes,
    And prayed to God today.
    I asked what makes a Mother,
    And I know I heard him say:
    A mother has a baby,
    This we know is true.
    But, God, can you be a mother,
    When your baby's not with you?
    Yes, you can he replied,
    With confidence in his voice.
    I give many women babies,
    When they leave is not thier choice.
    Some I send for a lifetime,
    And others for a day.
    And some I send to feel your womb,
    But theres no need to stay.
    I just don't understand this God,
    I want my baby here.
    He took a breath and cleared his throat,
    And then I saw a tear.
    I wish that I could show you,
    What your child is doing today,
    If you could see your child smile,
    With other children who say:
    We go to earth and learn our lessons,
    Of love and life and fear.
    My mommy loved me oh so much,
    I got to come straight here.
    I feel so lucky to have a mom,
    Who had so much love for me.
    I learned my lessons very quickly,
    My mommy set me free.
    I miss my mommy oh so much,
    But I visit her each day.
    When she goes to sleep,
    On her pillow's where I lay.
    I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
    And whisper in her ear.
    "Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here."
    So you see my dear sweet one,
    Your children are Ok.
    Your babies are here in My home,
    They'll be at heavens gate for you.
    So now you see what makes a mother.
    It's the feeling in your heart.
    It's the love you had so much of,
    Right from the very start.
    Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother,
    until their time is done.
    They'll be up here with Me one day,
    And you'll know that you're the best one!
    ~Author Unknown

    Natalie Carlson