Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Monday, 17 February 2014

"How do I cope with this living bereavement?"

So many grandparents say to me, "I don't know how to cope."
You have no doubt heard that this is likened to a living bereavement, unlike a bereavement you don't have the opportunity to come to terms with your loss.
I can only talk personally and for me it has been a long drawn out process.
I remember the first emotion was one of shock and disbelief, I would cry, shake couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. All my thoughts were confused and it affected me physiologically  and physically.
That phase seemed to be endless.
Once I began to not feel so numb, I was angry, an emotion that I don't usually display. I was mostly angry with myself for allowing this to happen.
Of course that is completely irrational, because actually I couldn't have prevented it.
Then that ugly feeling of shame, similar to the one above but terrible feeling of as a grandparent I should have been able to make everything ok, ashamed at talking to others about it because I thought they felt it was my fault.
I then felt as though I was going down a dark spiral of sheer emptiness, I became low and useless.
In time I realised that I was slowly disappearing as a person, I was just a person who seemed to make everyone around her miserable.
I needed to take stock of what was happening.
I was not the only one who was feeling so wretched, I had a son who was grieving the loss of his daughter, I had a husband who was also suffering but in silence about the void in his life and the whole family were experiencing similar feelings to myself.

Ok, so thats how I felt, but what did I do about it?

I realised that how ever painful all these feelings were I had to go through them to come out the other side, so I went a bit easy on myself.
If I felt I wanted to cry then I would go and sit at the bottom of the garden and sob, at the same time I was at one with nature, with birds buzzing back and forth the gentle trickle of the pond water, nature was actually looking out for me.
When I felt angry I would get the spade out and dig for England or weed until I couldn't stand up straight.
Lastly when I was feeling a bit more like me I went about setting up the support group, which has been so therapeutic for me, being able to allow others just to unload there emotions and to be able to just say, "Don't explain, I know." is a small thing but it works.

I am not suggesting that everyone goes out there and does any of the things I did but it may give you some ideas.

Remember if you are in the early stages of this bereavement, what you are feeling is completely normal and you will come up the other side.

Don't hang on to the negative stuff, think of all the positives in your life and remember you are not alone.
I am at the end of the phone, email, Skype and at our meetings.

You must protect yourself as well, take care of yourself.


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