Today I met up with a grandmother who I first met 7 yrs ago, she was one of the original grandparents to arrive at my door for tea and cake for the grandchildren.
She wants me to share her story with you.
Several years ago her son died at a very young age, a parents worst nightmare, losing one of our children.
He was married and had two beautiful children, a girl and a boy, they had always been very close and she had spent lots of time with her grandchildren, who she adored.
Needless to say they were all distraught and utterly bereft.
When the unthinkable happens we would hope that the whole family would pull together and support each other, sadly it is not always that way.
Very quickly after this terrible event her sons wife withdrew all contact with the grandmother, contact stopped overnight, no explanation.
Not only did she have to come to terms with losing her only son but the last link she had with him, his children were taken from her as well.
She thought she would never recover, the pain seered through her whole body, every breath she took became more and more difficult, until she no longer wanted to breathe. Her life was over, all she wanted was to end it all.
It was at this time she had a copy of her local press and she suddenly saw that someone was asking for grandparents who were denied contact with their grandchildren to go and share a cup of tea, and it was extraordinary to see the meeting was literally 10 mins from her home.
Even though she felt life was no longer worth living, she made the decision to go, she had nothing to lose. She was astounded when she entered this perfect strangers home, that there were people there who appeared to be telling her story, they were all sharing their hurt and pain. It was the first time she felt able to unburden her loss, she cried in public for the first time.
After attending several meetings, she began to think things in a different way, she decided to make a change in her thought process, she would start to think internally, in other words to think about herself.
She had always sent birthday/Christmas cards and presents, never receiving any acknowledgement and so decided enough was enough and from that moment she stopped sending them.
It was to be a life changing moment.
She began to build a life for herself, volunteering, joining clubs and took up chess!
One the anniversary of her sons’ death she received a call from her granddaughter, asking her if she would like to meet up with her?
With some trepidation she invited her round for tea.
They have been meeting up ever since, a new relationship blossoming.
This Christmas her granddaughter asked if she could go with her grandmother to visit her Dads grave, they shared a very precious time together sharing their thoughts of a son and a dad.
I asked her if they ever discussed the past, her response was, “Absolutely not, that is in the past, we have a future to look forward to together.”
Her grandson has not contacted her, as yet, but she is hopeful he will.
She has asked me to tell everyone, to never ever give up hope.