Anyone who has found themselves being estranged from their grandchildren, know exactly how it makes them feel, how it has affected them physically and mentally. We are not the people we once were.

Grandparents lose their self esteem and have no confidence in anything they do, always wondering why? Our confidence has been shot to pieces, we were and still are parents first, we tried our best to do the right things for our children or other family members, somehow, it has all gone wrong. We tell ourselves it is our fault, we have failed.

When I talk to grandparents and try to give them strategies to help them, I will always say that they need to self-protect, something that we don’t find very easy, generally we have spent years protecting others in our families, so it doesn’t come naturally to protect ourselves.

Being apart from our grandchildren does leave an enormous void and it is impossible to fill that space.

We have to somehow allow that space to remain but fill it with memories and hope, and then look to ourselves to start gently to make decisions, decisions for our future.

Every single human being has something to offer to this life, all have amazing skills and talents, gifts to share.

It may be that you are a great communicator, so look for ways that you can help, support others. You will be surprised how giving someone a helping hand when they need it, will actually make you feel better.

If you are creative, think about ways of using those skills in enabling you to reach out in a different direction. Maybe you have local community arts groups.

You have to believe in yourself, to take a leap of faith.

Who knows where that leap will take you?

Never say no to an opportunity, take it forward and just see what happens.

Jane