Forced Estrangement

How often do we hear, ‘You don’t know what it is like unless you have walked in my shoes.’

People who have never been estranged from their grandchildren have absolutely no way of knowing what it feels like, that is until now.

Families across the globe are all having to come to terms with not being able to visit or hug their grandchildren, something that estranged grandparents have been feeling, for in some cases, years.

I would never wish it on anyone at all.

As we are all being told to socially distance ourselves, that horrible feeling of isolation comes flooding back, it is becoming a new experience too so many.

The difference is of course that they are able to reach out via social media, they can still see their grandchildren albeit via Facetime, or Skype.

Estranged grandparents don’t even have that.

Maybe this enforced estrangement will give many more people a little more understanding of how we feel when we are denied contact.

This is a horrible situation we are in, and we are only just beginning to get used to it.

I am so concerned about the mental health effect this is having, it is already getting to people. A grandparent told me today that he hoped the virus would get him as he couldn’t carry on living without his family in his life.

The agony that grandparents are feeling not knowing if their grandchildren are ok, is enormous and is tearing them apart.

Another feeling is that because the focus has been on elderly people, it can feel as though we are somehow responsible. Another grandparent said that she felt as though people think we are carrying the virus, and I also had a comment made to me when out buying milk, that ‘old people have been told to stay in.’

Somehow we all have to be strong and rise above it all, part of that will be by keeping connected to one another in any way we can.

Listen to the news but sparingly.

Don’t think about the future too much, take it one day at a time.

This is just a moment in time and time moves on.


About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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