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losing my three granddaughters and I'm crushed

(113 Posts)
davmalk Tue 05-Sep-23 17:01:17

I’m a 62 year old grandpa soon to be without my 3 granddaughters. My daughter’s husband’s job is moving from California to Tennessee and of course that means the family’s moving there as well. Now my wife and I have raised them from newborns to where they are now 7, 5, and 2. These girls are not just my granddaughters they are my world my best friends my copilots in life. They go everywhere I do that includes my friend’s house, Home Depot, grocery shopping you name it and they are by my side. I take them to school every day and I pick them up every day. We go to the all the parks in town. I take them swimming every day in the summer. I’ve put so much love into them and invested so much into them. We (my wife and I) put our lives on hold for our granddaughters and I seriously cannot handle this. I know I’m being selfish but I love those girls more than life itself and I cannot lose the loves of my life.

Smileless2012 Tue 05-Sep-23 17:08:51

You wont lose them davmalk. You've made some wonderful memories which they'll take those with them. The relationship you've forged will never be broken.

You can facetime and see them when you're chatting to them, 'phone and or text the elder two.

I know America's a big country and I've no idea how far Tennessee is from California, but I'm sure you'll be able to fly there to see them and your daughter and her family will fly back to see you.

Some GP's have children and GC on the other side of the world and those relationships continue because the love holds them together. So don't despair, it's going to be an enormous wrench to begin with but all will be well.

Shelflife Tue 05-Sep-23 17:09:42

A very difficult time for you I recognize that........... however your lovely granddaughters have parents who have to move ! There is no choice about this , please send them on their way with all your love - that is the best gift you can give them . In time they will grow up and lead their own lives and probably have their own children, that's how it should be!
They will always remember you and the love you have for them , but right now it's time to wish them well and wave them off with a smile - good luck!

Hithere Tue 05-Sep-23 17:37:23

I understand the shock

Very common mistake to put your life on hold - it will take some work to remedy that

You put all the eggs in one basket - what can you do to diversify?

Children cannot be your best friends, you are in very different age brackets and interests

Isn't your wife the love of your life?

Your language and grief is too much to put on little kids.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 05-Sep-23 18:01:35

I thought on reading the title that they had died. Of course you can handle it.

SueDonim Tue 05-Sep-23 18:08:08

You say you and your wife have raised these three children from newborn to now. Have they never lived with their parents? If that’s so, then it will be a steep learning curve for everyone but even so, they’re not moving to Mars, they’re just moving across country. You’d be best off facilitating the family to have a happy future together and finding yourself some friends more your own age, instead of depending on three small children who in case cannot be your friend.

Good luck to the family on their move.

BlueBelle Tue 05-Sep-23 18:15:50

It’s a shock, it’s upsetting, but you’re in the same country for goodness sake you…. will see them You ve given them love time and a big chuck of your life nothing lasts for ever My son wife 2 grandkids live the other side of the world!!
Why do you feel you and your wife have raised them from new borns ? Their parents raise them and if we re lucky we get a little bit of time to help along the way
They aren’t you’re children you had your turn with your own children now it’s the parents turn
wish them well with a smile plastered on your face and start face timing but not to make them feel sad or guilty to let them know you’re so excited for their new life and can’t wait to hear all about it

Coolgran65 Tue 05-Sep-23 18:24:13

My son and family live on the other side of the world.
You will cope once you get over the shock.
Don't lay your grief on the family.

Shelflife Tue 05-Sep-23 18:30:32

You need to get a grip on this ! You are certainly not losing your granddaughters , they are moving with their parents. Sorry to seem harsh but on the face of it your behaviour is unnecessary, unless we are not getting the full story.

wildswan16 Tue 05-Sep-23 19:06:43

You have been very blessed having so much contact with your grandchildren in their formative years. Now, just as we do with our own children, you need to let them fly from your nest to enjoy their new life with their parents.

You have not lost them at all. What an idea! Be proud and happy about your input into their lives and don't spoil their move by appearing so distraught.

sukie Tue 05-Sep-23 19:21:57

We were in the same position as you just 4 years ago. It was terribly hard on us at the time so I do understand. Nothing that anyone can say will take away what your feeling so go ahead and grieve a bit when you must. Then try to pull yourself together. Be strong and positive for the sake of the gc and their parents and you will all get through. Start making plans to visit Tennessee, it's such a beautiful part of the country.

After ours moved we were able to make just one visit before covid changed everything. We kept in touch with regular video calls and I spent a lot of time putting together packages with special things for each gc for all holidays and birthdays. Putting those packages together sort of kept me sane many times when my heart was especially hurting.

Everything changes and we have to adapt. Though I still miss them so, it does get easier with time.

sodapop Tue 05-Sep-23 19:31:19

I'm sorry you feel like this davmalk but I agree with Hithere your life should not centre on your grandchildren like this, it's too much to lay on them. They are relocating in the same country so you will be able to visit quite easily. A lot of us on here do not have that luxury. You have been a good support to your family but now it's time to let them go and enjoy your own life with your wife.

VioletSky Tue 05-Sep-23 19:49:54

I am sorry you won't have the same bond you did but there are lots of ways to stay in touch these days

Try not to put too much of this on your children and grandchildren. They will be very stressed with such a big move

Time to write that bucket list and do lots of interesting things to tell them about when you see them

Fleurpepper Tue 05-Sep-23 20:02:56


You need to get a grip on this ! You are certainly not losing your granddaughters , they are moving with their parents. Sorry to seem harsh but on the face of it your behaviour is unnecessary, unless we are not getting the full story.

This, was trying to find the words to say the same. What is the flight time between the two. Be positive and make sure you get there as often as you can. Be prepared to rent a little place nearby so you don't invade too much.

Fleurpepper Tue 05-Sep-23 20:06:57

Just over 4 hrs flight time- no big deal really.

Please don't make them feel guilty, and be happy for their new opportunities, and adapt. They will respect you for it.

BlueBelle Tue 05-Sep-23 20:27:17

I wish mine were 4 hours away last time I went to visit it was 31 hours door to door, don’t feel able to do it again
They are not your children they were lent to you to help with that’s all , not your best friends or your life it hurts but we have to grin and bear it (and my grandkids have their other nan and grandad round the corner to them !!!)

twiglet77 Tue 05-Sep-23 21:10:28

Could you not move to Tennessee too?

Would your daughter and son-in-law want you to?

tapestryfrog Tue 05-Sep-23 21:44:28

Even if they didn't move away the time you spend with them would change over time anyway. Kids grow up, they go to school, they make their own friends, they become more and more independent and live their own lives. We have been childcare for years, but the youngest is about to start full time pre-school and we are needed no longer in that role. We are looking forward to this new phase of life and having more time to do things together - maybe you and your wife need to do the same (and look forward to visiting!)

crazyH Tue 05-Sep-23 22:17:26

davmalk - I don’t know how far Tennessee is from California. But at least they are in the same country as you are. My mother had to watch me and her beloved GC, fly away thousands of miles across the seas. I can still see her at the airport viewing area, wiping her tears away. How her heart must have broken.
I am not trying to diminish your pain, but you have to accept it. Your wife should be the love of your life. As someone said earlier, it’s only a 4 hour drive away. It’s nothing really. Your wife and you can visit them at least 6 times a year. Ofcourse you won’t be able to see them daily. But that’s life. My 6 GC live in the same town as me. I see them about once a fortnight., sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on the circumstances, if I’m baby sitting etc etc.
So I hope you will soon learn to accept the situation. Good luck !

MercuryQueen Tue 05-Sep-23 22:55:58

From your wording, I’m not sure if you’ve had custody or were very involved grandparents. Did you have custody? If so, when did they transition back to their parents?

I realize this is a big change in your life, but I’m a bit concerned about the language you use, calling them the lives of your life and best friends. That’s a lot to expect of young children.

Hithere Tue 05-Sep-23 23:52:31

This language is usually used for a romantic relationship

When did you find out they were moving?
If it has been a while, you may need professional help readjusting

Shelflife Wed 06-Sep-23 00:40:24

Just all seems a bit odd to me !!!!????😕

Daddima Wed 06-Sep-23 05:42:45

Me too, Shelflife, in fact, I’m wondering if maybe the parents are taking the opportunity to move because you feel you have ‘raised’ the children.
I apologise if the situation is completely different, but, as said above, you have only given a part of the story.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Sep-23 09:09:06

Seems odd to me too.

pascal30 Wed 06-Sep-23 09:26:13

It sounds like you all live together from your post.. and the parents either both work fulltime or have been sidelined by you and your wife.. this could be a lovely, loving family situation or one that just doesn't suit the parents. Time will tell when they move. If they still want you to be involved then doubtless you will be invited,, but they are not your children