Our grandparents, even though they die, they stay forever in our hearts. We miss them every day, and we would give just about everything to hear their stories, to feel them by our side, and to look at those eyes filled with tenderness.
Even though our grandparents have the joy of seeing us being born and growing up, it is a fact of life that we are the ones watching as they say goodbye to the world.
The first farewell that we have to face in our childhood is usually the death of a grandparent.
The grandparent play a very active role in our childhood, they shape our spirits, and transfer their legacy to us which will accompany us for the rest of our lives, long after they have become invisible.
Nowadays it is more than common to see the grandparents playing an active role in raising their grandchildren. They represent the invaluable support in many of today’s families.
The children are those that sense very well how the role of their grandparents is different than the one of their parents.
It is quite common, but yet we will mention that the grandparents and the grandchildren develop a very special bond, which is deep and intimate, and in itself holds so much that the death of a grandparent can be devastating and delicate for the child. This is why today we will reflect that subject on you.
The first experience of dealing with a loss – saying goodbye to a grandparent
Those who have reached their adulthood with their grandparents by their side have been truly privileged, but the others have experienced the death of these close relatives when they were only children, and still did not fully understand the magnitude of the situation.
Usually, in these cases the adults do not know how to soften the situation in order to hurt less or make them understand better.
This is why the adults should tell their children the truth then and there. This is an advice coming from a lot of Psych pedagogues. Of course, it is of utmost importance to adapt the news to their age.
Parents should also avoid the mistake of preventing the child get the last farewell with their grandparents, or do the mistake of telling the children how their grandparents are now a star in the sky, or sleeping in the sky.
First of all, we have to make our children understand the concept of death without any metaphors in order not to confuse them or avoid any misconceptions.
If we say to our child that the grandfather has left, the first question they will ask is when he will return. Second, if we are trying to explain the concept of death from the religious perspective, it is important to emphasize the fact that the deceased is not going to come back.
Ever. These explanations have to be brief, simple, and right up to the point, because the brain of a child can only cover a portion of information.
Next, it is very important that the adults don’t hide their feelings or their tears from their children. You must teach them that death is not a taboo. In order to get through a loss, you must speak openly about the pain and the person you lost.
When the children get a better understanding of these unfortunate events they will start speaking at the right time about it, but until then, we must guide them towards it.
And finally, we have to be attentive that the children will ask us a lot of questions, and these are the questions that require precise and intelligent answers.
The loss of a grandparent will always be a complex matter, and the best thing would be to be very careful to any questions your children might ask you.
Even if they are not, the grandparents are very present
- Even after they are long gone, our grandparents will always be a part of our lives, especially in those common situations we share with our family, and even in the oral heritage that we share with the generations that come after us.
- The grandparents were those who held our hands when we were learning how to walk, but they will hold our hearts forever, where they will eternally reside, giving us their light and energy.
- The presence of the grandparents is in those yellow old photos, and not in our mobile phones. They are present in the tree that they once sowed, or in a dress that your grandmother once sewed.
- They are present in the smell of the cakes that will forever stay in our memory, or in an advice that we got from them, a story they have shared with us, in the way they taught us how to tie our shoes, or even in the dimple in the chin that we inherited from them.
- The grandparents are present in a delicate and deep mode. They never die, and this is because of the simple genetics. They show us how to walk a pace slower, how to enjoy a country afternoon, learn the smell of an old and good book, because they have a language that can go beyond words.
- It’s a hug language, gentle caress, an afternoon walk shared in silence or a complicit smile, and all of it will last forever and this is how the real eternity of people takes place – in the affectionate heritage of those who not just really love us, but who truly honor us by remembering us every day.
Thanks for reading!