How can a grandparent help?

I recently received a posting from a grandparent asking how they can best help their son/daughter with their grief? Grandparents are in a very difficult position as they face their own unique grief while at the same time wanting to support their children.

We have several very good resources at for grandparetns, but I think the best suggestions would come from the parents who have gone through this experience. If you are willing, share what helped and what didn't help that your parents did or did not do. I have no doubt that many people will be touched by your comments and hopefully families will have a better experience because of what you have to say.


A different kind of loss...

To get to my age and have both my parents still living is a gift I never took for granted. But it was not until my Dad's death last week that the true impact of my good fortune really hit home. I have spent a good deal of my adulthood talking about the death of my daughter and the loss of my future that event represented to me, but I am now feeling what many others have felt before me -- a sense of losing my past.

I believe it is wrong to compare losses or try to debate which one is "worse," so I won't even go there. Pain is pain, and when you are hurting, it doesn't matter what the cause is, it hurts. It also doesn't matter whether someone has felt a similar pain before you or how many blessings the life that is lost may have brought you. During those moments of grief, it hurts bad.

To be honest, I thought I was somewhat prepared for this loss, and to a degree maybe I was. A parent's death fits more into the scheme of how life evolves so I guess that from that standpoint it was something I knew would likely happen at some point. What I did not anticipate is the emptiness that comes from knowing that someone you have counted on your whole life is no longer a phone call away. My Dad's death came after a brief illness, but we did know the last week of his life that he was dying, so we had some time to bring closure. It was a treasured time that I did everything in my power to avoid, because I did not want to be confronted with having to say goodbye. Now that it's over and I can look back, I know it was the right thing for me to do and I'm glad the decision was not totally left to fate.

Rather than ramble on, I will just say that even after all my talking and preaching about the importance of "being there" and the lessons I tell others Kathleen's death taught me, I still did a lot of the same avoiding I did 25 years ago. I could even get real down on myself for that, but instead I am going to concentrate on the fact that, in the end, I stepped outside my comfort zone and did what I knew I would regret not doing. That feels good, and I have Kathleen to thank.

The lessons just keep on coming............