Coping with the Loss of a Grandparent is a guest post by Ami Roberts at Through Ami’s Eyes.
Until the age of 24 I lead what I now see as a very sheltered life.
I still had all of my family and had never really experienced loss before. Unless you count my hamster dying when I was six!
In January 2014 I found out the happiest news, I was pregnant with our first child. My husband and I were going to be blessed with a little person who was so desperately wanted.
Our families were so happy for us and none more than my grandparents.
I was very close to my Nan and Brissy (I have never called him Grandad…it’s a long story). Just before I fell pregnant they had returned from living in Spain for almost 10 years. I was ecstatic as had missed them so much and had never wanted them to move in the first place.
Losing a Grandparent
In March of 2014 my husband, my grandparents and I all went for a Chinese. It was to a place I have been going to since I was 3 years old to celebrate our happy news. I was floating around in a happy little bubble.
During that meal, however, I couldn’t help but notice that my Brissy kept getting the hiccup and had to excuse himself from our table quite a few times. I thought it was odd but nothing more than that.
Then, in July 2014, I found out why he had been hiccuping and my happy bubble well and truly burst.
My Brissy had Cancer.
He had terminal cancer in his throat and treatment wasn’t going to help.
I can’t remember how long he was given but when my Mum told me all I remember thinking was ”Please let him meet my baby”.
Well, they did get to meet each other and Brissy loved the bones of my little boy. He was never a ”baby” type man but for my little boy he made an exception and the love radiated from him when ever he saw my son.
Five months later, he was ripped from us. I never got to see that look again and my little boy will never get to see first hand the amount of love his Brissy had for him. I was truly heartbroken at a time where I should have been on a fluffy cloud of newborn baby bliss.
What came next
I remember the days and weeks that passed after he left us. I kept finding myself feeling fine one moment but the next moment I would be sobbing so heard I could barely breathe.
It would be the smallest things that would set me off. Seeing my little pickle smile at me or bobbing along to songs when we sang.
It would feel like my heart was breaking all over again. My wonderful, innocent little boy would never remember the man who had shaped so much of my childhood and loved us both so dearly.
I could have easily let the grief consume me and just sat for weeks crying but as much as I wanted to at times, I couldn’t. I had a baby that needed me to be strong and that needed me to find a new way to carry on.
People say that when someone dies that you have to ”get over it”. How can anyone just ”get over it”? I don’t believe that you can.
Life after the loss of a grandparent
You just have to find a new way to live your life with the hole that has been left behind. That hole will never be filled or go away. Over time you will learn to accept it is there and live your life with it in the back ground.
Carrying on, for me, meant bringing Brissy into my home more and having him present. I couldn’t be scared of talking about him as doing so made the tears come flooding back. In fact I needed to talk about him and teach my son all about the amazing man that he would never know.
I have pictures of him in my house and I have a special one in pickles bedroom. I like to think that with that photo Brissy can watch over pickle and pop in and see him every now and again. Might sound crazy to some but for me it helps.
Loosing Brissy was one of the worst times of my life. It was strangely balanced out by one of the happiest.
My family and I had our shining sun in all the dark clouds, my little boy, and for that I will be forever grateful.
My little man may never know it or understand it but he helped all of us in ways he will never know.
Thank you so much Ami for sharing your story on dealing with the death of a grandparent x
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If you have been through this too, how did you cope with the loss of a grandparent?