Grieving the death of a Grandparent

The death of a grandparent can be the catalyst for a family to grow closer together or completely fall apart.

A Grandparents role in the family is not only the mother or father of a Childs parent but a key figure in the history & backbone of the family. A Grandparents love for their family runs as deep as the ocean and as wide as the sea.

Grandparents are an essential part of the family with high status. They have many amazing stories to tell, knowledge of so many fascinating things to share. They bring to the table, love, laughter, wisdom, patience, warm hugs and many kisses, guidance, and strength.

When a grandparent passes away, the Grief can be especially difficult for the family if the grandparent was the strong rock of the family and played an important role.

Coping with the Death of a Grandparent. … Losing such a special person is always difficult, but especially so if it is your first experience with death.

When this individual has played an unique role in the life of the family, a child or children. Although the Grief may be intense, often times some family members hold much of their grief inside and not talking about it nor expressing their feelings at all.

If there was a special bond, it makes coping much harder. Members of the deceased loved ones family may experience sadness, depression, anger, rage, feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Making sure the grandparent’s memories and traditions remain a part of the family, talking about the grandparent, cooking and/or baking recipes that were special to them, and laughing at some of the memorable things shared will help ease some of the pain and keep their legacy alive.

I vividly remember when my grandparents passed away, but my grandmother’s death is a memory I will never forget.  She loved being out in nature, fishing, gardening and just loved people and her family so much. I remember riding home from school each day and passing the street my grandparents lived on and always looking down the road at it, to see if I could get a glimpse of my grandmother or grandfather.

The particular day my grandmother passed away was a sunny day in the 1970’s and the school bus was taking me home and I looked down the street at their house and saw so many vehicles but just thought they had company.  When I finally arrived at home, my mother was waiting for me and broke the news of my grandmother’s death.  I was devastated. My grandmother meant the world to me and now she was gone.  I felt so terribly for my mother and her siblings, my aunts and uncle. My heart broke for my grandfather who had just lost the love of his life, a woman who had been there for him through thick and thin and had given him a beautiful family.

I remember our family pulling together as a family should and providing comfort for each other, holding on to one another as we managed to get through her funeral and maintain our sanity to move forward in our lives, but it was extremely difficult.

I do know that it is very good to know that there’s no firm line we cross from grieving to “moving on.” Moving on doesn’t mean that  we’ve forgotten our grandparent and are no longer sad about the loss. Every person should take as much time as he or she needs.

God Blesses the Brokenhearted

The loss of a loved one can be devastating. If the loss is a spouse, we not only lose the person we took vows with but we also lose our very best friend, our lover & confidant. Our lives as we know it has changed dramatically and will never be the same.

As strong as our feelings are, we cannot allow them to determine what is the truth. Even though we are a brokenhearted child of God, He is still very close to us and never leaves us.

God knows we are in pain and comforts us in ways we do not and could not understand. Pain and heartache often times leaves us unable to hear the voice of God speaking to us. He is there all the time, holding us, loving us and providing us with the strength to carry on with our lives.

We must talk to God. Let him know how we are feeling as we continue this sometimes cold, dark and dreary journey down the path of Grief.

God, I love you and thank you for all you are doing for me, all you have done and the many things you are working on for me.

Father, I am hurting so badly, my spirit is crushed, and my heart is aching. There are times when I feel as though you have left me, I can’t feel You and I want so badly to feel you. I know you’re here with me. I have to and I will choose trust over feelings. Help me & save me, Faithful, loving God.

We Can Get Stuck in Our Grief

It’s extremely important to give ourselves permission to grieve, but sometimes we can go too far. Unfortunately, this will lead us to get stuck in our GRIEF.

It is normal to have bad days. But we must ask ourselves if we have grown too fond and accustomed to the comfort and attention of others. We must also ask ourselves how is our anger with God affecting our grief journey?

Many times we can be on the path to healing and ambush ourselves by allowing self-pity to move in and take up residence in our thoughts.

There we go back down that Anger road again.

Yes, I am speaking from experience. What I tell you is coming straight from my own painful journey.

When I learned to accept God’s comfort, deal with my anger, realize time doesn’t heal all wounds, let go of the spotlight, read the book of Psalms, learn to trust God and remember he loves me, reconnect with others, monitor my thinking & behavior and realize Grief is not an identity, I was then able to move forward on my journey to healing!

Job was a man faithful to God who experienced the death of his children, the loss of his property and livelihood and then his health. At one point in time, he questioned God, but then realized, with humble repentance, that his own view of the situation was limited and God knows all things, sees all things and has a perfect plan.

God asked, “Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?” Job humbly replied, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand.” (Job 42:3)

Broken Heart Syndrome

Peace can be the smallest or the largest of things.

Living in peace is something many of us want more than anything in this world.

Finding peace can sometimes be difficult, especially when one is dealing with the loss of a spouse. The grief journey goes on and on and feels like it’s never going to stop!

Grief has a way of opening doors for denial, depression, stress & anger, often times leading right up to acceptance and even death.

There have case studies done where a spouse has passed away leaving their husband and/or wife to mourn and grieve their death.

Scientists have proven that intense grief weakens the body’s immune system leaving it more vulnerable to infections.

This is called “Broken Heart Syndrome.”
Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition that’s often brought on by stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. The condition can also be triggered by a serious physical illness or surgery. People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they’re having a heart attack.

I found the article below and link to the daily mail and found it to be very informative.

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The Emotional Roller Coaster After the Death of a Spouse

After the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse’s emotions may be all over the place.

A pure Emotional Roller Coaster. Some may even have guilt and regret up the Ying Yang. They may experience anger at their spouse for leaving them at a time they feel wasn’t the right time to die.

What is the right time to die? Our time was chosen by God and is written in our Book of Life!  When our time comes, there’s no turning back.

What is more, many grief-stricken mourners report not feeling angry at all. Nevertheless, there are times in our grief journey when we’re frustrated and hurting, and it’s only natural to lash out and look for someone to blame. Being angry is a way of funneling and/or transporting energy, of making some sense of the pain. Emotions aren’t always rational or even logical. Our feelings are neither right nor wrong. Good or bad. They are what they are. And for many of us, being angry may be a better way of feeling the hurt, pain & sorrow of loss and the underlying guilt of being the one who survived.

I clearly remember a session with my Grief Counselor. She asked me how I was feeling, and I said “Lonely, depressed, it feels like I wandered onto a battlefield and was shot in the chest point-blank by a cannon with no Shield,” and then I blurted out something I didn’t even realize I’d been feeling, “And I’m so angry at him for leaving me!”

I know that it isn’t logical to be mad at my husband, he didn’t choose to die. He just died when we were so happy in our marriage, loving, laughing & traveling and seeing so much of the world that I had never before seen. Such happy lives back then; much like a fairy tale.

“This is too much to take on by myself, I told my counselor sobbing into the tissues she had given me.

And I miss him so much! Everything, (even listening to our favorite Sirius XM Radio channels are overwhelming right now. I’ve watched our wedding reception video a hundred times and it seems and it still isn’t enough.)

Even when I would walk out to our garage and stand to look at his tools and boxes of wires that he loved tinkering with I would get emotional.

Right now I have the urge to hide away at home and never come out, but I’m so lonely that I know I need to get out and do things, see family and friends and play with my sweet grandchildren. They bring so much joy into my life. But I don’t want to be invited to events that include couples. I just can’t be around couples right now. It hurts too badly!

Not only was I hiding a secret feeling from her, but at that time, I was hiding it from myself.

I was JEALOUS & ENVIOUS of, my husband because he had made it out of this horrible, cruel world and I felt I was left behind. He would be talking to Jesus in that big, beautiful and utterly indescribable place called Heaven and I would be still down here on earth beating myself up.  I knew jealousy & envy were wrong, but that’s how I felt regardless.

I finally spilled the beans and forced myself to tell her what I was hiding. I had to, that was what I was there for, to get help. It would be a waste of time and money to go through each session with her and play games, so I told her.

She glanced over her glasses and stated that this was a normal emotion that many feel when they lose a spouse or any one whom they loved so dearly.  The death doesn’t have to be a sudden one as was with my husband, heartache & pain is still  what it is and to many it is unbearable. Emotions run wild, your mind is all over the place, you don’t know if you want to cry, shout, throw things, pray, or just sit and be silent as I did many days. She went on explaining different techniques for me to try that would help me cope. She continued asking me how I felt and comforted me as I cried uncontrollably.

That is when she offered to refer me to a Grief Therapy Group.

I immediately accepted and am so happy I did.

Thankfully, I was able to enter into group therapy which surrounded me with people who were suffering just as I was. People who had experienced the loss of loved ones at many different levels.

I was able to capture the full extent of reaching out to others hurting as they reached out to me and we comforted one another, talked about our loved ones, showed photos of our loved ones and became a close-knit family. Through God & the power of prayer, I was able to open up, talk and get over the feelings I had inside and ask God to forgive me for being angry knowing all along that my husband was God’s first and God was so loving and generous that he gave him to me for a beautiful season and for that, I am truly grateful.

“Till Death Do Us Part!”

roses and candle