In the heartbreak of being denied contact there is often one very important person who slips into the background, grandad.
When Marc and I were doing an interview for BBC Inside out West some time ago, the producer asked Marc a question, “How does it make you feel, not seeing your granddaughter?” There was a long pause, and I felt his hand shake in mine, as I looked up at him he had tears in his eyes and said, “It is grief, just grief.” The room was totally silent as his utter sadness enveloped everyone.
It was at that moment I suddenly realised that, the man siting beside me was falling apart himself.
Well, of course he was, he had lost his granddaughter who he loves so deeply, but it was the first time that he had actually shown his emotion.
When we talked about it later, he said that he felt that grandpas are of a generation of stiff upper lip, of being the head of the family of being stoical in times of stress, of not being able or wanting to express their feelings.
The producer of the programme who was visibly upset herself asked him if he wanted that part taken out and not shown when it aired.
With our any hesitation he said, “No it must stay in, it is truth, other grandads need to know its ok to show their personal despair.”
As the programme ended the phone rang, it was a grandad.
So to all grandads who are also going through this, we are here for you too, and to all the grans, don’t forget that grandad hurts too.
Jane