Lt Ken Ballard, my hero!
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.
Perhaps they are not stars
but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones shines down
to let us know they are happy
A Bereaved Parents Holiday 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 my child's name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that 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. My child's 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 my child, my favorite topic of the day.
7. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know those things through 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. These 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 until the day I die.
9. I am working very hard in 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 he is dead.
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, so don't frustrate yourself.
11. I don't want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.
12. 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 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 that I struggle daily.
14. 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 and cranky.
15. Your advice to "take 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, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get 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 my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.
18. 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.
Thanks to the Pediatric Oncology Resource Center for this information.
No matter how your child died, these still apply.
Old Warriors prayer
"When I am dead, cry for me a little. Think of me sometimes, but not too much.
It is not good for you to dwell too long.
Think of me now and again as I was in life, at some moment which is pleasant to recall, but not for long.
Leave me in peace as I shall leave you, too, in peace."
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name;
speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone;
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because
I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
When he shall die,
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