On a knife edge.

I make no apology for writing again on mental health.

I have focussed on the mental health of the younger generation and their sadness and grief of being apart from a parent or grandparent, as my concern for them is paramount. Those emails and letters from estranged children never leave me.

Of course there is the other side, that of the mental health of grandparents themselves.

Having spend the last few days in particular supporting a grandparent who feels their life is over, empathises to me how important it is for us all to look at our health.

For those who feel that grandparents are not important, and seem to take delight in making them suffer in the most awful of ways, I wish they could listen into the sort of conversations I hear.

Listening to a grandfather literally breaking his heart on the end of the phone is something I can’t describe. The sobbing is excruciating.

Those who have chosen to behave in this way, have destroyed this grandparent, a human being who has no self worth, who has no desire at all to carry on with this torment.

A grandparent who sits with a bottle of tablets in his hand whilst speaking to me, crying and distraught.

Nothing I can say will help, all I can do is to be on the end of that phone.

The question is always the same.


In a week where we are being told to ‘talk about it,’ I wonder if I have made a difference?

I am not an expert at all, I pass on the Samaritans number and I pray.

Every grandparent who has ever spoken to me over the last 10 years who have felt the same way, are often in my thoughts, I wonder, some I know didn’t make it, others found the strength from somewhere to recover enough to carry on.

I have been reading some comments in response to the petition that I have mentioned before, ‘for support the right of the children for ongoing relationship with grandparents,’ and they have no true understanding of the situation, they are judgemental and paint a picture of ‘toxic grandparents.’ Any grandparent who is feeling particularly vulnerable reading these sites will do themselves no good at all.

What would they say to the grandparent holding those tablets?


If you are having suicidal thoughts you must ring the Samaritans 116 123.

(Of course if there is a proven reason why a grandparent should have nothing to do with their grandchildren that is a totally different matter.)


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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