Support for bereaved grandparents

A grandparent’s grief can be complex. They can feel the loss very deeply, even if they have limited contact with you, and will mourn the lost hopes and dreams of the family. They will also feel the pain of your suffering and this might make them feel very powerless. They might also harbour incredible guilt for still being here when your child’s death has gone against the natural order of things.

What grandparents can do to help you

If grandparents are keen to offer their support and are close by, you could encourage them to focus on spending time with their other grandchildren – siblings could appreciate the focused attention and support.

Or they might want to help you with practical things to give you space and time when you need it, like doing the school run or picking up groceries.

Where they can go for support

It’s important they have a compassionate ear to talk to. Whether or not you feel you can support them, they may not want to burden you with their own feelings. It’s good for them to have other family members, friends or bereavement organisations they can turn to.

Your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker may be able to give advice about local support for grandparents. There are also resources or networks specifically for bereaved grandparents.

Further reading for grandparents

You might also like to read...

Getting through special occasions without your child

How to cope with birthdays, celebrations, holidays and anniversaries after your child dies.

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Supporting child siblings with grief

How younger children express grief after the death of their brother or sister.

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Supporting teenage and young adult siblings with grief

How older siblings react to grief after the death of their brother or sister.

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