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Losing a Grandparent

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Sep 14, 2016

Losing a Grandparent

While any loss is difficult, the death of a close family member can be the most overwhelming. Whether you’re 5 or 45, losing a grandparent can be incredibly difficult. Many people grow up with their grandparents being an integral part of their childhood or were raised by their grandparents. This could be as devastating as losing a parent.

Help Your Parents

Remember when you’re losing your grandparent, your mother or father is losing their parent. It’s important to realize that you’re not the only person who will need support during this difficult time. Use your time and talents to help your parents through their loss. This could be helping planning the funeral, making phone calls for your parent, going with your parent to visit family, or spending more time with your parent. You may find that you have a new appreciation for your family during this time. Make the most of the opportunity by giving your parent the love and support they need.

Take Time to Reflect

If your grandparent was ill at the time of their death, it’s easy to focus on seeing them in the hospital or their declining health. Try to reflect on the good times with your grandparent instead. Think about the fishing trips your grandfather took you on or how much you enjoyed visiting your grandparents over the summer. Share and compare stories with your family. This is a great way to encourage them to focus on the positive as well. Cousins, siblings, and other family members you grew up with will enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane with you.

Say Your Goodbyes

Some of us will try to hide our emotions no matter the situation. However, the death of a very close family member can cause a rush of intense feelings. It’s okay to be sad, angry, or upset. Cry if you need to, share your difficult emotions with someone you can trust, and most importantly, say your goodbyes to your passed grandparent. This could be done by speaking at their funeral, writing them a letter, or even by taking the prior step and reflecting on your relationship with them.

If you feel overwhelmed by anxiety or depression caused by grief, please contact a therapist or counselor. Deaths of close family members can be exceptionally difficult to cope with and it’s okay if you feel like you need additional support.