We’ll miss them so much it hurts, and we would wish for them to be with us again. To see their eyes, and feel their warm embrace when you need it the most. Our grandparents watch us be born and grown.
It is a part of life, watching your grandparents age and then die. Our first death we see in our lives is one of our grandparents. When they are raising the grandkids, they leave behind a footprint on our heart, and their legacy will continue even when they are gone from us.
Grandparents are increasingly becoming more integrated with child-rearing and are a support system. Our children do know that grandparents have various roles that are different from their parents. Grandchildren and grandparents develop a deep, unbreakable bond that, when they die, the adolescent or child will feel emotional when it occurs.
SAYING GOOD BYE TO GRANDPARENTS: THE FIRST EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH LOSS
For those who were able to have their grandparents watch them grow up into young adults, we are the lucky ones. There are many others who witness their grandparents pass away at a young age, so they won’t comprehend how big a loss it is for them. Adults have their way of handling a loss, as they try to cover it up and say it “doesn’t hurt.” Knowledge about death needs to be passed down to children, that way they can adapt to the death of their grandparent, and to life in general. It is highly advised that parents allow their children to say their last goodbye to a dying grandparent, rather than feeding them with metaphors.
We must make sure children are understanding of death without being given metaphors that give out misconceptions. If you tell your child that the grandmother left, they will proceed to ask when they will be back.
When you are discussing death from a religious standpoint, be sure to explain that the dead never come back to life. Be very straightforward and brief, as children soak up small amounts of information at a time.
Its imperative that parents abstain from hiding any emotions and tears from their children’s view. They need to know that death isn’t something you hide up. It’s perfectly normal to let out emotions and be vocal about it. They will attain a better understanding of death if we help to teach them how to express themselves in a family death situation.
Children are very curious and will ask questions, so you have to be very measured and smart about what you relay to them. When a child loses a grandparent at a young age or during adolescence, it is hard for them to deal with it. It’s advised you cater to your children’s need for attention and concrete answers to any questions. Let them mourn the loss with everyone, that way they don’t feel left out.
EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT, THEY ARE VERY PRESENT (Next page)