It is Boxing Day evening, and that is 2 days of the festive period done and dusted, the time of the year most estranged grandparents dread, have come and gone, and here we are looking forward, towards a brand new year.
I know that the days are still long and dark and bad weather often happens in January and February but somehow I always reach Boxing Day evening with some sort of relief, and I start to wonder what the new year will bring.
Of course I don’t have a crystal ball so I have no idea what is around the corner, but I hope I can face whatever is in store with renewed energy.
I am buoyed on by the wonderful positive stories that I have listened to over recent weeks, so many grandparents building new relationships with estranged family members. It may just be a phone call or a card, but the effect is extraordinary, there has been a connection. A connection that means the world, and hopefully is a sign that the door is still open.
It would be great if this time next year I could write that there was no longer a need for BGSG, but sadly I don’t think that will be the case.
This year has been a year where the whole topic of estrangement and alienation has been centre stage, and now is acknowledged by the judiciary, CAFCASS and other professional bodies. What we need to see in 2018 that it is fully understood and that any training offered to the professionals is the proper training.
It has to be the year that the children are put first, that it becomes socially unacceptable to deny contact to a Dad or Mum or extended family member, for the sake of the children.
I hope that you have come through this difficult time and are able to look forward, to remember that you are not alone and that there is support for you, it may just be sharing a coffee and a piece of cake, but to many it has been and will continue to be a lifeline.