Sydney Danielle Lough 3/11/07

Sydney Danielle Lough  3/11/07
My Inspiration

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grief Wish List

Amy sent us a newsletter yesterday for a support group at University Hospital. In it was the following "wish list" meant to help others understand our grief and how to relate to us. I have heard many people say that they don't know what to say, or what not to say. This might help. I know I feel this way. I don't want Sydney to be forgotten, and when people don't talk about her to me, I feel like she has been...even though logically, I know that is not true. I have learned through casual conversation that some family members go by the grave, when I had previously thought they never did. While sometimes it makes me cry to talk about it, it makes me feel good to know that other people miss her, too. So, here it is:

1. I wish you would not be afraid to speak my child’s name. She lived and was important and I need and want to hear her name.

2. If I cry or get emotional if we talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me; the fact that she died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

3. I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish 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 counseling.

4. I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn’t compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse or a pet.

5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t stay away from me.

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

7. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months, a year, or in five years. 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 will FOREVER be “recovering” from my bereavement.

8. I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, loose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a lot of illness or be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

9. My child’s birthday, the anniversary of her passing and the holidays are terrible times for me. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking about her on those days and if I get quiet or withdrawn, just know that I am thinking about her and don’t try to coerce me into being cheerful.

10. I wish you understood that the only way I can feel better is to experience my pain and grief. I have to hurt before I can heal.

11. I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my child went to heaven 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 the new me…maybe you will still like me.

Thanks to all of the people who have been there for us over the past two months since we lost Sydney. You have made this easier for us.

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Brook said...

I see we are both up early this Saturday. That list will be very helpful for friends and family. So if you ever want to talk about Sydney or just need someone to yell at call me. Love You!

Marion said...

Thank you so much for this list. You know I think about Sydney every day, and I talk about her with the kids. We all really love her and miss her. I would love to have a picture of her for our family scrapbook. If you ever want an open ear you can call. I might not seem like it, but I am a really good listener.

pop said...

I hope you know we think of Sydney often-daily. I have lost parents; but it is much worse to have lost our Sydney. Cry time is important for all of us-my time is the morning shower. We love you guys

Sandi said...

Thank you for sharing some ways that we can help, Tiffany. I wish so much that we could have met Sydney. I have cried many tears over her and over your pain. Love you.

Mandy said...

Your loss has change all of us. Your loss has taught me to cherish each and every day I have with my own family. Your loss has helped me see what true suffering is. Your loss has showed me what prayer can really do- I pray for you, Andy and Sydney each day- I know it is the one way I can make a difference. Your loss has taught me the true power of God even though it will never be understood.

I love you very much. Please know that we all want to help you in any way you need it, we are all here for you both. Thank you for sharing.