Running a support group is like being on a roller coaster, one minute you feel so sad and the next you feel elated.
The sadness is when you are listening to someone breaking their heart down the phone or reading the heartbreak in an email, the elation is when you pick up the same phone but to a grandparent who has been reunited with their grandchildren.
It is hard to believe that the same person only a few months ago, or longer is now looking at life in a completely different way, they can see a future, a time for rebuilding relationships.
2016 has so far seen several families beginning the long road to recovery.
I have written in a previous blog that the process of building those bridges can be very hard, and a great deal of patience and sensitivity has to take place.
I think it is also fair to say, that when we have been estranged from family members, things are never quite the same, but that doesn’t mean they are any less precious, it is just that everyone involved has changed and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge.
I am often asked, how should you move forward, and I don’t have that answer. Each individual needs to find the place that feels most comfortable for them, and no two people will be the same.
As you know I say, you can’t look back, but of course many people are desperate to ask pertinent questions, to try and find out why this estrangement happened in the first place. Only you will know if or when to ask those questions.
In any relationship there has to be an element of trust and of course when you have had experienced being apart this way, I wonder if you actually ever regain the trust element?
As I haven’t been fortunate enough to regain contact I can only imagine what it would be like, but I do know that all those who have, work incredibly hard at trying to make it work. In fact they seem to consciously not ask those difficult questions, they do look at the here and now and work at just keeping those lines of communications open.
Just to be able to be a small part of grandchildren’s lives is such a privilege, it is the parents role to bring their children up in the way they think best, we have already done that role, a grandparents role is one of giving support if asked, to be there if needed and to always have a full tin of biscuits!