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Grandparenting

Not seeing grandson is like a bereavement

(42 Posts)
lovemabub Sun 08-Mar-20 14:47:28

My darling grandson is growing up in Australia. I spent the first year of his life as his primary carer, living with my daughter's family while she did her Masters, but I came back to England when her mother-in-law flew over to take over. That's fine of course but even though we skype a few times a weekI feel literally heartbroken at not being with him. It's been nearly six months. Oddly, I don't miss my lovely daughter in the desperate way I miss my grandson. I'm trying to fight back tears as I talk. I try and keep busy but this is like a living bereavement. Can anyone offer advice on what might help?

crazyH Sun 08-Mar-20 14:58:07

I can only offer you a big virtual hug. I can't imagine not being able to see my grandchildren. Now I know how my mother's heart must have broke when I moved abroad with the children but I'm sure she understood it was for better prospects.

GagaJo Sun 08-Mar-20 15:04:56

I share your heartbreak. I have had to go overseas for work, leaving my grandson in the UK. I've been with him daily since he was born. At his birth, I saw and held him before his mother did.

Today has been a bad day. I cried on the bus and had to come home.

Staying really busy helps a bit.

Callistemon Sun 08-Mar-20 15:19:11

Do you have any other DGC in this country lovemabub?

It is very difficult, I know, at one time all I seemed to see of mine was him skidding past at top speed on his trike as we tried to chat on Skype (which was hopeless).

How often will you be able to go over? You have been exceptionally close, more so than most DGC and DGP so that does make it more difficult for you. I do find that we seem to carry on as we left off the last time we saw him though, which is lovely, although he is taller than me now.

All I can say is to keep yourself very busy and to save up for your next visit.

Riverwalk Sun 08-Mar-20 15:50:26

Yes it's very sad for you but it's a long way from being bereaved.

MissAdventure Sun 08-Mar-20 16:17:41

I agree with riverwalk.

Marmight Sun 08-Mar-20 16:34:26

It must be heartbreaking, having been so close. There are many of us in the GN community who have children & grandchildren living far away. My daughter married an Aussie and has 4 children who I see for just a few weeks every year or so. I’ve missed seeing them grow and flourish. Each time they have changed immeasurably. You get used to it and there’s always WhatsApp or FaceTime to keep in touch. Look forward to your next visit and keep well occupied until then. It’s sad and hard to bear, but it is not a bereavement!

sodapop Sun 08-Mar-20 16:39:07

I agree with Riverwalk and MissA be glad your grandson is well and happy and has such a loving family.

Hithere Sun 08-Mar-20 16:47:18

You may want to get in touch with a counsellor to help you adjust.

The favouritism between grandchildren may reflect in real life - watch out for that

GagaJo Sun 08-Mar-20 16:51:58

Can we all stop being so judgemental? Who are any of us to say one person's pain is worse than another?

That is one thing I REALLY dislike about this site. The way those that have nothing positive to say to someone who is clearly hurting put the boot in and bring them further down.

Opal Sun 08-Mar-20 16:59:32

I disagree with some of the comments above, it IS like a bereavement - except that you are grieving for the loss of a close loving relationship, rather than grieving for a person who has died. The feelings of loss can be overwhelming, just the same, and the pain can be unbearable at times.

Oopsadaisy3 Sun 08-Mar-20 16:59:47

5 posters are sympathetic

2 posters trying to offer another perspective

Hardly putting the boot in, all trying to be helpful.

GagaJo Sun 08-Mar-20 17:52:20

4 posters have said or agreed it's not like a bereavement. Not putting the boot in maybe.

I've had both and this is very similar.

MissAdventure Sun 08-Mar-20 17:58:52

I don't think its judgemental to express a different opinion.
Saying that though, its probably not the most helpful thing to say, so I apologise for that.

Eglantine21 Sun 08-Mar-20 17:59:50

I’ve had both too and I can’t agree that they are similar.

I miss him but he is well and happy. I can see him and talk to him and some day soon I’ll be able to hold him and hug him.

He was ill and suffered. I had to watch and I couldn’t help him and I now will never see him or hold him again.

If someone could swap the last one for the first, I’d be the happiest person in the world......
.

eazybee Sun 08-Mar-20 18:06:55

Is there any way you can go over and stay for periods of time? A friend's daughter relocated to Australia and she was devastated, but she put a positive spin on it by saying that they were able to visit for 'so many' weeks at a time, not every year, and they always had that to look forward to.

GagaJo Sun 08-Mar-20 18:09:45

For the writer they ARE similar. For you, maybe they're not. Can't you see that by insisting she's wrong, you're being unsupportive?

We all have different life experiences. Just because yours is different doesn't make her (and me, I agree with her) wrong.

Eglantine21 Sun 08-Mar-20 18:17:40

Hmm. Well that needs thinking about.

More analysis than Im capable of.

I hope you feel better soon OP. Didn’t mean to make it worse💐

Septimia Sun 08-Mar-20 18:17:47

In some respects it's worse than bereavement. With bereavement you mourn but you know that the relationship you had has come to an end. There is nothing you can do about it.

With grandchildren you miss them dreadfully but the fear is that the relationship is suffering. Your fear that you'll be forgotten, unable to share things, that the closeness you had will be lost without the loss of the other person. You're anxious because the potential to do something about it is still there but the opportunity may not be.

Sorry - I may not have explained it very well....

GagaJo Sun 08-Mar-20 18:53:04

Septimia, that is SO insightful.

That is how it feels! Grandparents are only important in the lives of grandchildren for a short space of time. It goes by in the blink of an eye. And to miss it...

Callistemon Sun 08-Mar-20 20:51:14

Yes, my neighbour has just been bereaved, their son has died.
One of DGS's year group (Y7) has just died - that is agony for the family.
This is nothing like that.

Using that term does do a disservice to those who are grieving.

It is very upsetting but it is not a bereavement.

Callistemon Sun 08-Mar-20 20:53:23

Septimia I disagree.

They are still in the world, still breathing, living, enjoying life and the OP will see them again.

It is nothing like a bereavement.

Callistemon Sun 08-Mar-20 20:57:03

GagaJo I thought you had just flown home and spent time with your DGS?
Presumably you will look forward to seeing your DGS at Easter?
How can you compare that to a bereavement?
Have you no insight whatsoever to the suffering of others?

SueDonim Sun 08-Mar-20 21:01:58

I must tell my friend who lost her 9yo to a rare leukaemia that being separated from a living grandchild is in some ways worse than her own loss.

Callistemon Sun 08-Mar-20 21:23:09

Yes, it is bollocks, isn't it SueDonim

Sorry for the language.