Gransnet forums


LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 30-Jun-16 16:32:27

A letter to Holly

When families - and especially grandparents and grandchildren - are estranged, the emotional toll can be unimaginable. One gransnetter finds comfort in the hope that, one day, her granddaughter may just be able to read her letters.


A letter to Holly

Posted on: Thu 30-Jun-16 16:32:27


Lead photo

"I also want you to know about your daddy..."

Darling Holly,

On 11 June you will be one year old. The last time I saw you was on 29 August last year – a Saturday; you were 2½ months old and already as bright as a wee button. A delightful, adorable, smiley baby and so pretty.

I took some photos of you that day, and as I took them, I felt a deep sadness because in my heart I knew that this would the last time I would see you and hold you - as a baby at least - for who knows what the future may hold.

Your parents split up that day and sadly it was not amicable. Your mummy told your daddy that he would never see you again.

I am writing this letter to leave with the solicitor until you are 18 years old, because if I don't see you again I want you to know about us and that for the 2½ months we knew you, Granddad and I loved you very much.

I took some photos of you that day, and as I took them, I felt a deep sadness because in my heart I knew that this would the last time I would see you and hold you...

As I write this I am nearing my 62nd birthday – you and I are both Gemini! I am passionate about the environment, and human and animal welfare. I love sewing, knitting, singing and playing ukulele, gardening, reading and writing. I made you a patchwork quilt after you were born; your mum sent it back to me but I still have it here, along with some other things I keep in a box for you.

I also want you to know about your daddy. Like everybody, he has his good and his not so good points. However the good points far outweigh the not so good; I say this not just because I am his mum but because he is genuinely a lovely, caring man.

He loved you so much and in the short time he spent with you, he cuddled you, fed you, changed your nappies and bathed you, played guitar, sang to you and made you giggle.

He is clever, creative, musical and very funny. He cares very much about the environment and animal welfare too.

His bad points, I'm glad to say, are few. Mainly that he tends to bury his head in the sand when serious matters have to be dealt with and rather than stand up for himself he would just give in. I think it is because he cannot cope with stress. When he and your mum were first together, he loved her very much but they just couldn't get on well together.

Dearest Holly, I hope your life up to now has been a happy one and will continue to be so. Please know that you have always been in our thoughts and loved from a distance.

All our love and best wishes forever.

Grandma and Granddad.

xxxxx xxxxx

By Anonymous

Twitter: @Gransnet

rubylady Fri 01-Jul-16 04:38:56

Would the child/children actually get the letter though and would they not already be poisoned against you by their parent/parents? It is a really hard decision whether or not to buy presents/cards, write letters, keep a diary or whatever to let your estranged grandchildren know that you love them and care about them. I have thought about it lots. I do not keep a diary nor buy presents or cards. My ED, I think, will make sure that I am not talked about and am obliterated from my GS's lives and, even if I did leave something with a solicitor for when they turn 18, I do think she would see to it that what I said in the letter was untruths. Sometimes it just hurts too much. I know that as grandparents we want our GC to know that we care and maybe one day I will be able to write something but not now. My eldest GS will be finishing his first year in school soon, it breaks my heart to even know that never mind not being able to be a part of it. At this moment I cannot forgive my ED for keeping them from me. It's been two years now. The youngest will be three years old. And not even know I exist.

rubylady Fri 01-Jul-16 04:39:53

p.s. Can we go back to politics please, that didn't hurt quite as much.

elleturner Fri 01-Jul-16 21:16:35

Hi anonymous, you are doing the right thing for your dear grandchild, hopefully, someday your letter will be read ?

NfkDumpling Sat 02-Jul-16 07:49:52

A lovely, lovely letter. It must be worth leaving a letter with the solicitor in the hope that it will eventually be passed on. Maybe even a chance of reconnecting.

My heart goes out to all of you in this horrible situation. (((((((Hugs)))))))

LullyDully Sat 02-Jul-16 08:17:49

My heart goes out to you. I just hope she gets the letter at.18. It's an age when youngsters are looking outside the family. Remember she shares your genes and they can't be erased.

tiredoldwoman Sat 02-Jul-16 09:23:59

What a beautiful letter , it made me gulp .
Maybe you don't want to 'rock the boat' but I'm sure you could apply Granny Rights of access ?

janeayressister Sat 02-Jul-16 09:37:37

OMG heartbreaking. My niece has just got back in touch last year, after her Mother did the same to my BIL. She pretended that my dear nice had a choice. No four year old says to her Father ' my mummy won't love me if I see you' do they?
Anyone preventing their child from seeing their Mum or Dad is cruel ( unless they are physically abusive, drunk and neglectful) my BIL was neither. He nearly died of a broken heart.
Now my dear beautiful niece is terrified of telling her Mum that she has met us all. Her Mother is a manipulative liar. I know this as she told me ( I have always kept in touch by phone and email) that my niece didn't want to meet her Father, when she had already made contact and had met him.
My ex SIL is bonkers.
Of course there is fault in both sides, none of the two parties come out of the situation smelling of roses, but my BIL is incapable of plotting and manipulating.
What a terrible position my dear niece has been put in.

janeayressister Sat 02-Jul-16 09:39:49

I would just like to say, keep writing and sending and keep copies. Don't just write one letter and leave it at the Solicitors. That is what I did. Although I am my nieces' Aunt by marriage.

janeayressister Sat 02-Jul-16 09:42:11

My niece appeared back in our lives when she was 19. Her Mother could no longer control her then. hopefully your GC will turn up as well. Xxx hugs as it is so painful.

janeainsworth Mon 04-Jul-16 18:49:04

anonymous I think what is striking about your letter is that you haven't sought to blame anyone.
You brought tears to my eyes.
I do hope that you and your son won't have to wait till Holly is 18 to see her again. flowers

Sufjansgranny Tue 05-Jul-16 12:30:50

A stunning, heartbreaking letter. What a wise thing to do, and I agree with Janeayressister, do keep on writing. Hoping for better things xxxx

UkeCan61 Tue 05-Jul-16 21:57:44

Hi fellow Gransnetters, I am the writer of the above Guest post. Thankyou all for your kind words. It is a horrible situation but I have to stay positive and hope that we will see Holly one day. [Rubylady] I know that my DiL will also bad mouth us to Holly and try to prevent a relationship but as [Lullydully + Janeayressister] said when children reach a certain age they become curious about their family history and she may seek us out herself. I hope this happens for you one day. Writing letters isn't for every one and I do sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing or even wasting my time, but something keeps making me do it anyway.
[tiredoldwoman] I may do the access thing in the future but at the mo' as you say I don't want to rock the boat. Lovely that your niece did eventually contact you [janeayressister] it gives me hope. Thanks [NfkDumpling] [janeainsworth] [Sufjansgranny] [elleturner] (((x)))

NfkDumpling Tue 05-Jul-16 23:07:38


moonlight Wed 06-Jul-16 09:42:25

my daughter decided i was no longer going to see my granddaughter seven years ago when she was three years old it has and still does break my heart not being able to see her every year i send a birthday and christmas card to GD i dont know if she is given them
for a couple of weeks around her birthday (her 11th is next week )i get very low and cry every time i think of what she and i are missing by not being able to see her.
i will again try to get my daughter to let her meet me but all i get in return is a load of abuse and false accusing and her saying my GD hates me !!!!
so i know how you feel and i know there are thousands of us grandparents in the same position but it does not make it any easier

leemw711 Wed 06-Jul-16 10:25:21

I've just written a letter for my 3 year old GD and left it with her parents, together with the ring my dad gave my mum for their ruby wedding. They didn't live long enough to meet GD so I want her to know about them and their 40+ years of very happy marriage. I just missed my own ruby anniversary earlier this year as my beloved husband, who I met when I was 16, died a few months ago. I find it a huge comfort that GD still remembers him and chatters about him and loves looking at photos of them together! He was so proud of her and she makes me feel close to him...

UkeCan61 Wed 06-Jul-16 21:06:42

leemw711 are you allowed to see your GD? Lovely to give her the ring for her to treasure. Sorry your DH didn't make it to your Ruby anniversary. flowers.
Thanks for the flowers NfkDumpling x
moonlight I really feel for you, I can cope with my DiL not speaking to us as we never trusted her from the start but unfortunately it means we can't see little GD as her mummy holds all the cards.
But it is hard when your own Daughter doesn't want contact. I know how you feel as I have that problem as well but my daughter has no kids yet.
It is heartbreaking. I don't know how we manage to carry on sometimes with all this sadness but we just do and find all kinds of things to occupy our time to prevent thinking too much. I put on my happy face and friends and some family would never know what's going on inside my head! grin sad

UkeCan61 Wed 06-Jul-16 21:07:18

Bless you all for your lovely comments. x

Luckylegs9 Thu 07-Jul-16 07:14:01

That letter made me cry, I completely understand how this grandmother feels. I would somehow get that letter to her grandchild when she is 18. I cried because her dil has denied her child the love of grandparents, but most of all her own father, later on when her child is fully grown she might make her own mind up about things. The fact that the grandparents have each other will get them through. I was on my own when it happened and didn't see how I could carry on, but I'm still here, the person I was has gone, the heart as gone out of me.

Smileless2012 Fri 08-Jul-16 11:55:14

What a lovely letter Ukecan thank you for sharing it. You are doing the right thing. I send birthday and Christmas cards to my GC and when moved to do so I write them poems.

They're all gathered together on various pieces of paper but I have a book to write them all down in and that with other little things will go in their memory box which I've left to them in my will.

It isn't a matter of causing problems between our GC and their parents, I'm sure no estranged parent and grand parent would desire such a thing but it's important to them to know that they were loved by us even though we never saw them. I think it's of equal importance to us too.

I do hope you get to see Holly one dayflowers

UkeCan61 Tue 12-Jul-16 08:45:57

Luckylegs9 I take it you have no access either? It is a cruel person who inflicts this on their children. I have told myself that I have to live my life and try to do positive things that make me happy even though the bad stuff is always whirling round in my mind. It's learning to seperate the bad from the good and put the bad in a 'drawer' in my head. I have to still be there for other family members and so put on my happy face. flowers (((?)))

UkeCan61 Tue 12-Jul-16 09:01:07

Smileless2012 it sounds as though you're doing the same as me! I also have bits of paper and numerous exercise books with family stuff written inside and little keepsakes. I want to put it all together when I have the time. I go on Pinterest to look for nice ideas on putting memory books together and scrapbooking. I want all our GC to know about our family but especially Holly as she will have been negatively indoctrined by her Mum. Yes, I'm doing it for her as I want her to know that she has been loved from afar but I'm also doing it for me as I find it therapeutic doing nice things for her. flowers (((?)))

eddiecat78 Wed 13-Jul-16 13:59:57

I posted under "Relationships" yesterday about a very similiar situation and just wanted to sympathise with anyone else who is going through this. It is helpful to know others are in the same boat - usually through no fault of their own. Children deserve to have as many people on their side as possible and I really don`t understand why these women (I`m afraid it usually is women) want to stop them having contact with family members who love them.
I think this time of year is particularly difficult as every where you go there are grandparents with their grandchildren - and you can`t help wishing that could be you

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jul-16 14:18:21

It is therapeutic isn't it Ukecan, at least I feel as if I'm doing something and it does help to remind me that I am a grandmother, their grandmother.

I'll take a look on Pinterest. I do have ideas but I've not written these things out properly so to speak, because I don't want any of the inevitable tear drops to spoil the pageshmm.

Reading your letter and your last post has made me realise that I also need to write about other family members they'll never know. Great grand mothers, great aunts and uncles. Thanks for thatflowers.

We too believe that those children will be negatively indoctrinated, if the eldest hasn't been all ready, not just by their mother but their father, our son too.

I've posted in response to yours of yesterday eddiecat and yes, it seems usually to be women who are behind this vile behaviour. It's even more tragic when their influence over their husbands/partners is such that they join in with the abuse of their own parents and are prepared for their children to be used as weapons.

SparklyGrandma Thu 14-Jul-16 13:56:08

I am so glad I joined Gransnet recently - I had been sort of living alone with the sadness of not seeing my DGDs because my DiL decided so over 5 years ago. I send presents and cards via DiL parents but hear nothing back, ever. It is very painful around summer holidays and Christmas time but I try and keep it to myself, not burden anyone with the sadness of it. My son I just dont understand - letting himself be controlled and be cruel. I didnt bring him up to be like that.
Its difficult to discuss with my lovely friends - one DF even thinks its me not making an effort to see GC. Writing down a family history sounds like an excellent idea. Something positive to do for them. Sorry the rest of you are going through it too. A funny thing - I brought my son up to think marriage was essential to happiness and that he must ALWAYS listen to his wife. Foot and shot, eh?