When I asked my local MP Charlotte Leslie and Radio Bristols John Darvall and Esther Rantzen for their thoughts on their grandparents for our concert programme this is what they wrote:
My maternal grandfather died when I was six, and I remember that searing sense of loss acutely. My paternal grandfather had died before I was born, and my paternal grandmother lived in Australia. I am now desperately sorry I never got to spend more time with her. My mum’s mother however was in so many ways the mainstay and anchor of our family. She carried a grace and kindness with her that I still miss terribly. When I was little, she would intervene on my behalf with my parents, and as I grew up it was my gran who was lenient with letting my brother and myself try out wine, when she was baby-sitting when my parents were out! When she died of breast cancer in 2002, her loss cast a shadow over family life that has never really dispersed. I still miss her, her kindness, her calmness, her sense of fun and joy, the stability she gave, dreadfully. But I also feel so lucky that she lived close to us, and then with us, and that we shared and enjoyed so many beautifully happy times and laughter together”.
Charlotte Leslie MP.
“Grandparents are the link to your past you need to help you know who you are and where you have come from. They are the guide to and the buffer for your family. They are the reason you are who you are and they are vital to your early years by giving you a sense of family and a broader sense of love for the world. I owe my grandparents so much and to not have them in my life would be unthinkable.”
Radio Bristol Presenter.
“Grandparents have a unique place in children’s hearts. If that is an empty space – for whatever reason – it is a tragic loss”.