When you are trying to give support it is a difficult balancing act, as I think I have said before, when people are going through the pain of being apart from their grandchildren, you listen and allow them to unload some of their hurt.

Many grandparents are also dealing with other things, many have serious health issues and immense sadness in their lives.

Although I have always tried to be positive and to ask people to look at the good stuff that is also going on in their lives, sometimes that is clearly the wrong thing to say and can appear patronising. Our health and well-being is the most important thing of all, when we suffer illnesses we have to try and put ourselves first, and to use all our energy on looking after ourselves.

I have had grandparents say to me that, when they are feeling at their lowest ebb the last thing they want to hear is that, “everything is going to be alright.” When facing the prospect of having to deal with invasive treatment, maybe months of feeling so ill, going one week to other from appointment to appointment, saying  ” There is always hope,” frankly is not appropriate.

We must have time to process things, to be able to have time to face whatever is around the corner.

For those of you who are facing these times of desolation, nothing I or others say will make things right for you, but know that when you want to there is always a shoulder to lean on, not empty platitudes, just someone being there.

Jane