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We did not know that granddaughter had been christened

(22 Posts)
maggie49 Tue 30-Mar-21 09:27:04

I am a carer for my son who had a severe stroke 10 years ago and he lives with me, being disabled with speech difficulties.
My son has seen on fb that his granddaughter had been christened and is upset they had not invited him to the christening. It is always my son that phones his son even with his speech difficulties otherwise he would not hear from him. He messaged his son and asked when the christening had taken place but there was no reply. (it was likely to have been a few years ago as she is now 4 years old) Due to limited speech my son does not know how to deal with this. Should he message him and ask him why he was excluded or not contact him anymore? (They have been to stay with us for a holiday a few times as we live near the Dorset coast, we take them out and pay for everything when they are here. It is always my son or me that instigates any contact.) We would be grateful for any advice or other opinions.

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Mar-21 09:40:02

This is very sad maggie. When did your son last have contact with his son?

He has nothing to lose by contacting him again and asking once more when the Christening took place and also why he wasn't invited.

His son's refusal to respond the first time could be because he now feels guilty for not inviting his father and is trying to avoid the subject. I think though that this would depend on when the Christening took place and when your son last heard from him.

As it is always you or your son who initiates contact, then by not doing so in the future there's the real risk that you'll both lose contact all together.

This is a discussion you need to have with your son so you can talk about how you'd both feel if this were to happen. As EP's and EGP's from our only GC, I understand the pain that this would cause but sometimes a 'choice' needs to be made about ones long term well being and how that is damaged when there's sporadic contact and if there's a real fear that the day will come when there's none at all.


Peasblossom Tue 30-Mar-21 10:10:09

When you say you saw it on Facebook do you mean pictures of the Christening?

I only ask because for my Christian denomination a Christening is not a big family occasion. It happens within the context of an ordinary service and usually just involves the parents and the normal congregation.

I don’t think I’d say “Why wasn’t I invited?”straight out. It puts people on the defensive and they’re even less likely to make contact.

There may be a generational difference in communication too. Most young people don’t do phone calls anymore except for work! They mostly WhatsApp message or similar. Would your son be happy with that?

maggie49 Tue 30-Mar-21 10:57:29

smileless. My son phoned him approx. six weeks ago, and before that Christmas. I feel sure that the christening would have been at least 2 years ago. The photo his partner put on fb was a group of past photos and one happened to have Christening day written across it. They generally put pictures on fb of everything they do yet they put none on of the Christening. We don't understand why they would not invite him. He may have had a stroke but he still has feelings. He was so excited when they had the baby. We always send gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:04:34

I can understand your son being hurt maggie. When our boys were Christened as with Peasblossom it formed part of the ordinary service but was still a family affair, with family members being invited to the church service and the 'do' afterwards.

It does look as if your GS 'hid' the Christening from his dad and in his position I would want to know why I hadn't at least been told about the Christening.

"He may have had a stroke but he still has feelings" of course he does maggie and it's not too much to ask that those feelings be considered by his son.

Blossoming Tue 30-Mar-21 11:15:12

What did your son see on Facebook to make him think his granddaughter has been christened? I’m asking because you say she is 4 years old so was probably christened ‘a few years ago’. If it’s a photo could it be a christening she attended, not her own?

Blossoming Tue 30-Mar-21 11:34:47

Sorry Maggie it takes me so long to type my replies that I missed your update!

JaneJudge Tue 30-Mar-21 11:44:03

This sounds a bit more complex than just about a Christening. How old was your grandson when his Dad had a stroke? has it changed his personality? I'm not in any way defending your grandson but having a stroke and having to be cared for is a massive change for anyone to get used (and a massive undertaking for you too) Maybe they need to have a really good chat about things in general? either alone or with a professional present, if necessary. People find disability difficult, though that doesn't make it any less hurtful.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 11:49:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 12:07:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maggie49 Tue 30-Mar-21 12:08:44

Peasblossom. I was wondering if young people have a different view on this. We always send birthday and Christmas cards but they don't seem to bother with cards. I think maybe this could be a generation thing? He did not ask them why he was not invited, he asked 'Had Olivia been Christened, when was the Christening?' against the picture. He thought they would reply, but they didn't. His son doesn't do WhatApp. My son does messages him with my help as he cannot read or write since the stroke. (He has aphasia) I think all my son wants is for my Grandson to contact him now and then, and just to ask how he is, (twice a year would be enough). He doesn't mind how. Rather than only replying when my son or I message him. He's thinking if he stopped contacting his son, would he ever hear from him again. I don't know.

GrannySomerset Tue 30-Mar-21 12:15:09

It looks as if the grandson and his family have decided that someone with high care needs is too much to contemplate, and so they don’t. Not surprised you and your son feel hurt, but maybe there is a history here which we can’t know? It does sound incredibly selfish at the very least.

Peasblossom Tue 30-Mar-21 12:30:18

I really feel for you and your son maggie. Unfortunately, as I know from family experience, some people don’t want to deal with illness and disabilities.

If I’m feeling charitable I think it’s because it makes them feel awkward and embarrassed. Or because it makes them face the possibility of their own vulnerability. But sometimes I think they are just plain mean.

I think that we just have to accept that sometimes the effort of staying in contact rests with one person. This is definitely a generation of much more casual contact perhaps because it is so much easier people make less effort.

Maybe offer them a Dorset holiday again?

dragonfly46 Tue 30-Mar-21 12:35:07

When my DD was Christened we just had myself, husband, vicar and baby in the church. We are her godparents as well as her parents and I just wanted to thank God for her. I did not want presents or a fuss. It was an arrangement that I came to with the vicar.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 12:56:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 13:00:22

Sorry, just read your update.
It seems like your son and his son do not have much of a relationship, it is very much one sided.

That could be the reason why he was not invited to the christening.

Bibbity Tue 30-Mar-21 13:12:35

If they post a lot then the Christening would’ve come up by now. By the sounds of it they attended another child’s christening.

How involved was he with his son growing up? If the foundation of a relationship was never built then It’s not going to happen now.

maggie49 Tue 30-Mar-21 13:33:32

They have always got along well, my son has a lovely personality, everyone likes him, and when we do see them they get along fine and have similar interests. His personality didn't change although it was a severe stroke. Is it that young people do not think it is important to communicate and consider their parents. He will have to decide if he can continue with a one sided relationship as it is upsetting him.

maggie49 Tue 30-Mar-21 13:36:05

If it was another child's christening why not reply and say that when asked?

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Mar-21 14:02:46

I was going to post the same thing maggie. Simple enough to say if the Christening had been for another child.

Sadly I think that for some AC it isn't "important to communicate and consider their parents" and for your son, living with the life changing physical consequences of his stroke, it seems doubly cruel.

janeainsworth Tue 30-Mar-21 14:50:48

It could just be thoughtlessness rather than cruelty, on your grandson’s part, Maggie.
Could you possibly phone him or write to him yourself, to let him know how hurt his dad is by the lack of contact?
This needn’t be in an accusing way - just let him know that his dad would very much appreciate a call or message sometimes?
It’s probably better to be direct rather than focussing on the Christening, which may or may not have happened a few years ago.

sodapop Tue 30-Mar-21 17:07:45

I agree with janeainsworth a quiet word with your grandson about keeping in touch with his father. Younger people can be thoughtless and not realise how important family contact is. I'm sorry your son has suffered so much Maggie it must be difficult for both of you.