Is reconciliation a panacea?

Being able to share in the utter joy when a grandparent is reunited with a family member is such a privilege.

It is of course what every grandparent who is estranged is striving for, but is it as easy as that?

To be honest, no, it isn’t.

It is possible that many years have gone by, huge damage and hurt has been inflicted over that time, so it will take time and patience from everyone involved to make it work.

Things have been said and done that can’t just be forgotten, we have to find ways to put it to one side and to look at the bigger picture, and to the future.

Grandchildren will have been confused and bewildered by what has happened and careful handling needs to be put in place, time for them to share their feelings in and open and honest way, you are the adult it is up to you to be the supporting one.

Never say anything undermining their parents, just be there to say that it is going to be ok now.

One grandparent I know went through some very difficult times in re-establishing a good relationship with their grandchildren, and they were always fearful that it could happen again at the drop of a hat.

When I talk about being apart from a family member, I will always say we have to self protect, and the same applies in reconciliation as well.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are in this position.

1/ How will I cope if it happens again, am I strong enough to deal with it?

2/ I have changed as a result of being apart, and have they?

3/ I need to be able to protect myself, from further rejection.

4/ Can I let the past go? And look only at the here and now and the future?

5/Can I be my own person and be confident with them now?

6/ Am I ready to reconcile?

7/Do I still feel angry? Are they still angry?

8/ If I work to build up the relationship will my life improve as a result?

9/ Can we both respect each others differences?

10/ Am I prepared to compromise?

Any relationship needs working at, as we all know, and to be reconciled with an estranged family member is most certainly worth working very hard at.


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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