I would say without exception grandparents will ask me, why?

Why has this happened.

Needless to say, I don’t know why it happens, it may be that there are triggers, disagreement or argument, none of which should cause this breakdown of families. In many, many cases there appears to be absolutely nothing that has occurred that we are aware of.

Estrangement is not only being separated from out grandchildren, it can be a separation of any family member.

I was estranged from my father for over 15 years, people are estranged from siblings, parents,uncles, aunts , all family members.

In my own case it was my fathers decision that he no longer wanted me in his life after my parents separated. I was 15 and was really only concerned about my life and it was only as I grew older that I began to look at it all in more depth.

Just because he no longer was married to mum why should  that affected our relationship? There were many factors I am sure.

Of course if we want to get to the bottom of estrangement in all of its forms, we need to be able to communicate, is it not because communication breaks down that relationships begin to fracture?

That sounds so simplistic and it probably is, but we have to start somewhere.

If  we don’t know what the problem is, I don’t know how we can try and put things right.

If a family member falls out with another family member  over something petty maybe 15 years ago, and there has been no communication since, it is impossible to see how to begin to repair the break. Often the response can be, ‘well if you don’t know, I am not going to explain,’ frankly that sounds like the children in the playground I worked with. Or other family members appear to take sides, the consequence is always the same. People confused, bewildered and heartbroken, not knowing where to turn.

The world we live in today is unstable and fractured, we need to look at family life to try and regain some stability, to regain the value of family and to learn how to respect one another.

Jane