The After Loss Credo

by Barbara Hills LeStrang
I need to talk about my loss.
I may often need to tell you what happened –
or to ask you why it happened.
Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself

After Loss AfterTalk Grief Support
Young Woman With Face In Hands.

face the reality of the death of my loved one.

I need to know that you care about me.
I need to feel your touch, your hugs.
I need you just to be “with” me.
(And I need to be with you.)
I need to know you believe in me and in my
ability to get through my grief in my own way.
(And in my own time.)
Please don’t judge me now –
or think that I’m behaving strangely.
Remember I’m grieving.
I may even be in shock.
I may feel afraid. I may feel deep rage.
I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt.
I’m experiencing a pain unlike any I’ve ever felt before.
Don’t worry if you think I’m getting better
and then suddenly I seem to slip backward.
Grief makes me behave this way at times.
And please don’t tell me you “know how I feel,”
or that it’s time for me to get on with my life.
(I am probably already saying this to myself.)

What I need now is time to grieve and to recover.
Most of all, thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for helping, for understanding.
Thank you for praying for me.
And remember, in the days or years ahead,
when you may have a loss when you need me
as I have needed you I will understand.
And then I will come and be with you.
Every Thursday we publish “AfterTalk Inspirational.” We invite readers to submit their own poem, essay, or suggestions for inspirational quotes for publication. If you are a therapist you are welcome to extend this invitation to your clients as well. Please send your submission to

1 thought on “The After Loss Credo”

  1. Good morning,
    I have kept this poem in my Bible since 1996 when I lost my husband. It consoled me alone when nobody wanted me to talk about him. I was only 44 and thought my life would end. Here I am 68 and sending to a friend in the same situation. The loss of her husband, not suddenly as mine but a great loss no less. You can not prepare.
    Thank you for putting in words what my heart felt but I didn’t have the words.❤

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