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  • Writer's pictureerinwalter

The death of a grandparent; the loss of the history keepers

Losing a grandparent is a profound and inevitable part of life's cycle. Grandparents are the pillars of wisdom, the bearers of family history, and the embodiment of enduring love. As grandchildren, whether we are children or young adults, the death of a grandparent can be an emotionally challenging experience. In this journey through grief, we must not only contend with our own sorrow but also witness the ripple effect it has on our parents. Let's explore how to navigate this delicate path, acknowledging the unique role grandparents play in our lives.

Grandparents are more than just family members; they are the elders, the keepers of history and tradition. Their departure leaves a void not only in our hearts but in the very fabric of our family narrative. It's essential to recognize and honor the legacy they leave behind. Take time to reminisce about the stories they shared, the lessons they imparted, and the love they generously gave. This could involve creating a family scrapbook or a digital archive of memories, ensuring that their wisdom and experiences are preserved for future generations.

The impact of a grandparent's death extends beyond the grandchild to the parents. While dealing with their own grief, parents might inadvertently become emotionally absent, overwhelmed by the weight of their loss. As grandchildren, it's crucial to acknowledge this dual layer of grief and approach it with empathy. Communicate openly with your parents about your feelings and encourage them to share theirs. This mutual support can become a powerful tool in navigating the grieving process together, fostering a stronger bond within the family.

Tips for Remembering Grandparents :

Create a Memorial Tradition: Establishing a memorial tradition, whether it's lighting a candle on special occasions or visiting a place that held significance for your grandparent, can be a therapeutic way to remember and honour them. By incorporating these rituals into family life, you ensure that their memory lives on in a meaningful way. It could be a favourite meal, a special place you visited with them or maybe it's a hobby you learned or shared together.

Record Their Wisdom: Grandparents are a wellspring of wisdom, often sharing nuggets of advice that resonate throughout our lives. Create a "Grandparent's Wisdom Journal" where you jot down their quotes, anecdotes, and life lessons. Not only does this serve as a cherished keepsake, but it also provides a tangible reminder of their enduring impact on your life.

In the tapestry of our lives, grandparents are the threads that weave together the past, present, and future. Navigating the grief of losing them requires a delicate balance of acknowledging our own pain, understanding the impact on our parents, and honoring the legacy they leave behind. As we walk this challenging path, let us remember that the love and wisdom of our grandparents continue to guide us, even in their physical absence.

Continue to breathe


photo from Erin's family album. Grandparent and young Erin

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