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Grandkids moving across country

(36 Posts)
slwolfson Thu 04-Mar-21 20:08:58

Hello!
I live in Oregon in the US. I moved across the country to be here in time for my first grandson and have lived here for 10 years. My grandson who is 9, now has an almost 6 year old brother. I held them both hours after birth and babysat for their pre k years. Just found out they will be moving to upstate NY, clear across the country. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on to stay connected/deal with grief. Covid has robbed me of a year, and now they say they will be in their new home by end of April! Covid killed their business and they could buy land cheaper and hope to homestead.
My 3 daughters are all on this coast. One 21 year old granddaughter also on this coast.
Any and all tips to dig out of depression welcomed :-)

Summerfly Mon 08-Mar-21 12:30:15

Hi Slwolfson. I’m a little late reading your post, but I’d like to add my thoughts. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your darling family, and I can promise you that won’t change. My DD moved abroad thirty years ago. Since then she has married and had three children. I have always played a huge part in their lives despite the distance. We’re as close now as we ever were. The nice part is that I get to visit a different country and have done so many, many times. Especially when the children were younger. It was a great help to my DD. Friendships have been made with her friends and family, and I always have visitors, every year! Of course I wish they lived closer . That’s a natural feeling for any parent, but it is what it is. I know you’re feeling sad, but I’m sure once the dust has settled, you’ll find your own way.
Some have said you should be glad for them and get on with it, but as I’ve read it you are happy for them. A little empathy from some on gransnet wouldn’t go amiss either!
Sending hugs. 💐

cupcake1 Sun 07-Mar-21 17:23:30

Wishing you well slwolfson I can imagine how you feel I nearly ‘lost’ my DD and 2 DGD’s to NZ I was bereft just thinking about it, cried for weeks although not in front of her. They ended up not going (long story) I was elated but a couple of years later my DD and SIL got divorced. If it meant they would have had a happier life over there without divorce I would happily turn the clock back and help them pack their cases. As others have said plan your visits and make use of all the modern technology and ignore the negative and less than helpful comments. Wishing you all the very best 💐

Bobdoesit Sun 07-Mar-21 16:27:25

BlueBelle I could not agree more!

Callistemon Sun 07-Mar-21 16:19:03

I think there are a fair few Gransnetters with family overseas, Sherry, so we know what it's like, especially during this pandemic when we can't travel.

Chin up gal, as my DH says (not that it always helps).

slwolfson Sun 07-Mar-21 16:16:12

All of your comments uplift me. I am grateful. I have been practicing loving kindness and compassion meditation and it has helped. Our family does zoom. We are zooming this morning:-) I got my first vaccine yesterday! My husband is younger so has to wait. I'm having the boys spend a few nights the end of the month before they leave. It is a bit risky, but we have a tiny Airbnb out back where my husband will sleep. I have some gifts to give my grandkids- self addressed stamped envelopes and paper for picture drawing and writing grandma and kids travel journal. I have decided if all works out to go visit in July.
I can't tell you how much you all have helped me. I'm glad I joined Grander and hope I can help others soon.
Love,
Sherry

Cabbie21 Sun 07-Mar-21 15:37:19

You know, they will soon be in their teens and have their own activities and interests which will keep them busy, so even if they were not moving and had stayed close by, you would find that the relationship moves on. I live fairly close to my grandchildren but rarely see or have much to do with two of them, now 16 and 19. They have their own lives. I am closer to the younger two.
My time is busy with voluntary work, choirs, church etc. So I keep busy. I love them to bits but they have their lives to lead. Wish them well, and enjoy them in the holidays.

suelld Sun 07-Mar-21 15:32:20

My eldest son, d-i-l and 2 small grandchildren (2 & 5) live in TOKYO, Japan - I've seen them in person for a couple of weeks twice since the first was born - Covid has stopped travel for almost a couple of years now but we keep in video touch regularly on FB Messenger - my son ensures my 5 year old reads to me and vice versa, etc, etc - it's great - and at 75 I'm self-employed and wouldn't have time to 'play' much anyway. I also live in Wales and both my sons jobs are not suited to 'provincial' living - they need to get on with their best lives - as do I - Its a fact of modern life nowadays - So slwolfson, get working on modern tech to keep in regular touch and actual visits (when allowed again) will be a joy!

moggie57 Sun 07-Mar-21 15:24:40

Can't you move nearer to them

NotSpaghetti Sun 07-Mar-21 15:14:54

I have been both the mother who moved away and the mother whose children moved away.

As a young woman with a family I had no idea the upset I caused my parents when we blithely took our family away from the UK to America to live for a while. Now, two of my children have moved elsewhere. One, born in the USA, is settled on the west coast and will never come back. My oldest daughter left for Europe with her husband, their business and their family immediately after Brexit. Maybe they will, one day.

All I can say is give them your blessing. Do not show how desperate you feel. They will know you are sad because they know you love them - but do not add to this. I am deeply and profoundly grateful to my parents who, inspite of losing their only child and much loved granddaughter to a life the other side of the world, made us feel they were pleased for us to have new and exciting adventures.

I have learned a lot from this unselfish gift. I have waved my children and grandchildren off with smiles and happiness that they too are spreading their wings and flying away to new challenges, new things. This is my gift to them. Be pleased they are strong. They are seeking a better life. Please trust me, you will survive.

Put that brave face on, plan for a visit, write, send tiny gifts by post, get good at WhatsApp or Telegram.
You will find that soon they feel closer than they are.
Good luck.
Thinking of you.
💐

4allweknow Sun 07-Mar-21 15:09:33

No doubt it will feel like a loss but in reality your family are having to move to survive so you should be pleased they have hopefully found a solution. Surely you will be able to visit when they have settled and if course new technology will help you to have regular contact. You have yo hold on to your family moving for a livelihood, not just a whim.

Candy6 Sun 07-Mar-21 14:48:56

Of course it feels like a bereavement and ignore all those who tell you it’s not. You are losing those you love dearly, albeit not forever, but a big part of them and of course you will have feelings of loss. Don’t be made to feel guilty or judged either. Everyone deals with things differently. Of course you are glad for them, want them to be happy etc. But that won’t alter your feelings either. You will feel low, that’s only natural but you will get to feel better. Plan something for when they’ve gone, something for you that you enjoy so you’ve got something to look forward to. Keeping occupied is key for you I think. I felt bereft when my son moved 200 miles away 18 months ago but I got through it and I’m sure you will too. My answer was to go back to work and I still work now. Wouldn’t work for everyone but it did for me. Good luck ❤️

red1 Sun 07-Mar-21 13:56:28

loss, bereavment can share a similar process, losing an item is not the same as losing a big part of your life, emotions are involved .I went through my family going overseas 4 years ago, i told myself i had not lost them, but it felt like it. I went through a grief process for some time, it took me by surprise. Now i visit or i can move to be near them if i want to.

Septimia Sun 07-Mar-21 13:05:47

Try Stars messaging for keeping in touch. It's supposed to be safe for kids to use. We keep in touch with our DGD that way. I've also written her letters and sent stories that I've written.

She's always been a 4 to 5 hour drive away but we've been involved in her life quite a bit at various times, although not as regularly now. She's big enough now to come to stay with us or for us to take her away for a few days. She's just told me that she likes spending time with us.

It's worth putting in the effort to maintain contact then, when you are able to visit, you aren't a stranger and your relationship can just carry on from where you left off.

GrannyCarrots Sun 07-Mar-21 12:57:17

Of course it feels like a bereavement, whether you are happy for them or not. you're used to a physically close relationship and that hurts when it's taken away. But that pain will ease and I'd use Zoom/facetime...everything. Your relationship with your grandkids will remain as important to them as it is to you. holiday there, invite them to you and it won't be that long before the kids can come to you on their own! Mourn the present, but know you can delight in the future.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 07-Mar-21 12:50:44

I fully understand how you feel.

Do you like Oregon? If so perhaps that thought can cheer you up a little.

Please, don't take the sour-pusses' comments to heart, For some odd reason, some gransentters seem to like making unkind comments, especially to those who are posting for the first time.

It happened to me, and I nearly didn't come back, as I too was looking for sympathy.

How computer savvy are you? Zoom might be a good way of keeping in touch once they have moved. And if both you and they have WhatsApp on your phones you can save a lot on phone calls.

icanhandthemback Sun 07-Mar-21 12:07:40

Of course you will feel grief for you 'loss' but that will pass as you will find that there are pleasures to be had from the contact you do have, the trips you make to see them, etc.
One thing I would say is to try not to let your negatives colour their excitement at a new future. It won't be without some reservations that your family are making this move and it can only be because they feel that their life balance will be better. I am sure that their happiness is paramount in your mind so it would be unfair to laden them with guilt. There's a vast difference between telling them someone you will miss them when they are gone but are still happy for them rather than making them feel you are being abandoned. Being a fly in the ointment can only bring resentment.
As life opens up again, try to find things to do where you can increase your social life so you have less time to brood. Throw yourself into volunteering (lots of schools over here love to have people in to hear children read) and look at how you can improve your life rather than depending on your grandchildren who would make a natural shedding of their family ties in due course anyway.

BlueSky Sun 07-Mar-21 11:58:45

Many of us on here have children and grandchildren who have moved overseas. I agree at the beginning it’s tough, this past year worse than ever as we have been unable to travel to spent some precious time with them. But you do sort of get used to it, again thanks to modern technology you can see them as well as keep in touch. Be brave and start planning your visit!

Madgran77 Sun 07-Mar-21 11:49:31

It's not a bereavement through death but it FEELS like a bereavement through loss.

reelashosser Sun 07-Mar-21 11:41:18

Exactly two years ago my daughter, who then lived 300 miles from me and who I could visit by train, told me that they were moving to Massachusetts. My grandsons were 10 and 12 at that time. Like you, slwolfson, I was bereft. My husband is 85 and has dementia, and I knew that it was going to be hard work travelling to visit them.

Since then Covid intervened and not only is it unlikely that I will ever now be able to visit them, but they have not made any visits home, as they had planned, as my son in law is shielding. I detest facetiming and skyping, and felt that I would be jumping through huge hoops to stay in touch.

It's not been like that at all. Since they saw how uncomfortable I felt facetiming, all our calls have been by telephone, free, courtesy of Whatsapp, and usually longer than half an hour. I talk with and Whatsapp the boys independently of their parents - their main interests are sport and reading, and we discuss football (sorry, soccer!), lacrosse and books.

I am actually in touch with my daughter more than I was when she lived in England. We Whatsapp several times every day, discuss everything, share photographs. We talk roughly every 10 days.

I have found that she has needed plenty of support in her new life. Although she is a confident and efficient person, Covid, an 18 month search for a house, her father's dementia, have been uppermost alongside guiding her boys into the education system and supporting them when they had not been able to make friends or go to school because of Covid.

You will probably still grieve for the old, cosy life you had with the family, but their new interests and the fact that you do not need to travel abroad to see them, will compensate. It is really interesting seeing them navigating a new life and new State, and gives you lots to talk about. I take cuttings from local papers about things which interest my daughter, and we discuss books, tv, life in general. If you can encourage them in their new life and take an interest in everything, you will find a different kind of closeness. If you read to your grandchildren now, perhaps you could Zoom once a week and read them a story?

I wish you well in this new phase of your life, slwolfson. My life is not as I had envisaged, but there is still much to be content about.

aquafish Sun 07-Mar-21 11:36:54

Hi slwolfson. Welcome to gransnet! I totally identify with how you are feeling today as that could be me! My DD & 2 beautiful GDs are planning a move from UK to Europe just as soon as lockdown allows. This has been on the cards for some time but I think Brexit tipped it for my European SIL who now wants to return home taking the family with him. There’s no easy way to be positive, but positive we must be, we are the grown ups here and have to look beyond our own thoughts if loss to what they will hopefully gain. It’s hard though when most mums and DDs can’t wait to see each other for a big hug and mine is planning to leave the country! I remain hopeful that we can all keep in close contact as my DD & I are essentially very close, and I can still be an important part of my 5 & 3 yr olds growing up years. Can I also say what an enormous help I find all the thoughtful comments I read on gransnet on this subject and how it boosts my spirits. Keep smiling you are a wonderful woman!

leeds22 Sun 07-Mar-21 11:34:27

DiLs parents live in Australia, we live 200 miles away. Guess who sees the GCs most? Long holiday trips in both directions mean that our 3-4 weekends a year are nothing in comparison. I am sure you will have lots more good times with your family.

janipans Sun 07-Mar-21 11:07:28

Cheer up! My parents moved abroad later in life, so when I had children I used to take them to visit for several weeks a year. As they got older and went to school, we spent most of the Summer holidays with them. So whilst my kids only saw that set of grandparents once a year, they spent "quality" time with them and they remember it it well. If you added it all up, they probably spent more time with my parents than with their other grandparents - just in a different way!

kwest Sun 07-Mar-21 11:05:20

I guess it feels as if your heart is being ripped out?
I promise there will be an upside to this.
You will all want to be the best , kindest, most tolerant and understanding versions of yourselves when you do meet up.
If there is a problem you will hear from your son/daughter quite a bit until it is resolved and then everyone will get on with their normal lives with a weekly phone call. that is healthy. My daughter and I have not been able to see each other since last September , they live about a 4 hour drive from here, due to Covid. They are coming up here in May for a long weekend when the law changes and we are all really excited. We have kept in touch throughout. She has sent lovely thoughtful presents to us and we speak once a week unless there is some sort of problem happening and then we are each at the end of the phone to help 24/7.
We would love to see them more often but we are just happy that they are all healthy and happy and we are grateful for what we have.
As the Covid rules become less restrictive and the garden beckons with the better weather, you could think about volunteer work, joining interest groups etc.

LuckyFour Sun 07-Mar-21 10:57:44

I have one daughter who lives nearby and one at the other end of the country. I feel just as close to the distant one as I do to the close one. We talk alot on the phone, send presents for the children and each other, look at their photos on email etc. and see them as often as we can. I suggest keeping in touch in any way you can as often as you can. Don't forget they will miss you too, and when you visit you'll have lovely holidays and precious time with them.

LilyJ Sun 07-Mar-21 10:46:27

Don’t feel judged at all, we have all had our own diverse journeys with our grand children and this forum is really to give the poster the benefit of everyone’s experiences and knowledge.
No one can judge how you feel and yes, you will feel totally bereft to have them move away , but for the younger generation, life goes on and they clearly have life changes they need to make. I am sure you will find many ways to keep in touch and to visit that will work for you under the new circumstances. In fact start researching the new area with the children now in order to find some lovely new places to explore and activities to try, that will provide you and the children with something solid to hang on to and to look forward to. At the moment, it’s like a fear of the unknown, try to concentrate on How you will adapt to this new stage of your life to ensure the closeness is maintained... and as I said when we were parted from our family...no one can take away our memories ❤️ and you will also have the opportunity to make plenty more.