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Coping with the Death of a Grandchild

Category: 

Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Mar 01, 2017

Coping with the Death of a Grandchild

As a grandparent, dealing with the loss of a grandchild is doubly devastating. In addition to losing a childhood who represents a pure, open, and loving bond, you also have to help your child cope with the loss of her or his son or daughter. This is a tragic, heartbreaking situation that no one ever wants to go through, and you may be called upon to provide strength and support, even as you grieve. Your own child will need you by her or his side, and of course, you want to be there, providing as much comfort as you can. However, you cannot forget your own feelings. Don't cast them aside as you try to take care of everyone else.

Make Time for Your Bereavement

Burying your feelings doesn't do anyone any good, especially you. You won't be of any help to the rest of your family if you don't let yourself feel your grief. It's understandable, even admirable if you want to be strong and supportive for your family, but being strong isn't the same as being stoic. There's no need for that. You can cry, you can scream, vent, yell, and express your anger and sadness. Even if you don't feel comfortable doing it in front of the family while everyone's pain is still raw, take time to yourself or with a trusted friend. Express your feelings in private, if you must. Don't tamp down your grief, though. That will make you ill, and the loss of your grandchild is too huge to swallow.

Envelope the Grieving Parents with Love

Your son or daughter and her or his partner need you now more than ever. They need all the support they can get. Again, that does not mean that you have to hide or bury your emotions. You can cry together. You can and should grieve together. This is the hardest thing your child will ever have to go through. Make sure s/he knows that you're there with love, comfort, and compassion. Hold up your child through the hardest tasks.

Be There for Your Other Grandchildren

If you have other grandchildren, especially if they are the siblings of the grandchild you lost, be there for them. It's all too easy for other children to get lost in the sadness during a time of bereavement. They're often at a complete loss. Help them to get through this—and they will help you, too.

This pain will pass, but it's slow going. The loss of a grandchild creates a deep-seated anguish that never completely goes away.