I gave this article to my colleagues before returning to teach after a semester off. It might be something that some of you, who have recently lost a child, could use.
I wish that David had not died and I want him back so badly. He was very important to me. I hope that you will not be afraid to speak his name. If I cry when you talk about David, it isn’t because you have hurt me. David’s death is the cause of my tears. I will be grateful if you will allow me to talk about him and to share my grief. Grieving is the hardest job that I will ever do. It is exhausting. Grieving is not contagious. Please do not shy away from me. I need you now more than ever. I know that you think and pray for me often. Please let me know through a phone call, a note or a hug. I wish that you would not think that my grief will be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me. I hope that you will understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of David until the day I die. I will never not remember him, ever. I am trying hard to recover, but you need to understand that I will never fully recover, and will always miss David and will always grieve that he is dead. I am not asking for pity. I just want you to let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal. I struggle daily and might be doing OK, but I do not feel OK. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness is what I am experiencing which are normal reactions to grief. David believed in hope. He often said to me “mom, hope is a good thing, it is the best of things, and good things never die.” I hope that you will understand when I might be quiet, withdrawn, and cranky or irritable. I was told to “take one day at a time”. I would be doing well if I can handle one hour at a time or one moment at a time. Grief has changed me. I am not the same person I was before I lost David, and I will never be that person again. I wish that you would understand my loss, my grief, my tears, my void, my loneliness, my pain. BUT I pray that you will never understand.