We have choices.

How I wish I had a magic wand, but I don’t.

How to help grandparents who are going through such a hard time is never easy.

To say to someone that there is nothing you can do is soul destroying.

The only comfort we can give is that we know that although it doesn’t get easier, you can and do reach a place of acceptance. It takes time and practice to start looking after ourselves.

It is important to find someone you can trust, someone you can confide your most inner most thoughts to. This relationship benefits both parties.

Asking for help shows strength.

It is the first step.

You can work through this together.

You must have understanding and compassion for yourself, we can spend valuable time beating ourselves up about things.  ‘I should have done this or that’ ‘It’s all my fault’, I have no doubt you have a long list of self-talk!

We can become so absorbed by the negative thoughts buzzing around our heads that we don’t notice anything else that is going on around us. We go through the motions without being aware.

We need to know that the thoughts going around in our heads are our choice, so we need to make new choices.

When you actually think about our thoughts often it will be thoughts of the past or the future and not about the here and now. Time won’t wait for us, to think of the present we have to practice hard to think that way.

Step outside of yourself for a moment and just think how you would help a good friend if they were going through a similar situation to you.

Are you talking to yourself kindly? If you aren’t think of why you aren’t.

Being kind to yourself is as equally important as being kind to that good friend.

With your trusted friend look at your past and present relationships. When we lose contact it is like a ‘living bereavement’ it is hard to find resolution. Unlike the grief we feel through death, we can’t mourn. The people we are estranged from are still here but lost to us.

Think of relationships you have made since your estrangement, have you made changes in your life, are they better or worse?

How would you like things to be in a years time? Are those thoughts a reality? If not what would be a more achievable wish. How can you make that happen?

I find writing a really good way of straightening out my thoughts.

Remember to be kind to yourself. I have repeated that because it is so important, we don’t always find that easy.

As I have said before we can not be responsible for the behaviour of others but we are responsible for our own. Once again it is our choice.

We have to face and deal with our own emotions and behaviour to allow us to live our life in the best way we can.

Some thoughts and behaviours could be, going over and over events, jealousy over a relationships and situations, spending more time living the past then in the present. Excessive behaviour, eating, drinking, shopping, smoking, social media use. Not looking after ourselves, retelling our story over and over again to anyone who will listen, not giving others the benefit of the doubt, always being negative, always blaming others, not taking any responsibility. Not seeing any shades of grey.

Some of these are how we learn to cope with our estrangement, others are habit. We need to think if it is helpful to us or should we let them go.

If we can be honest with ourselves there is an opportunity to make changes and to live in the present.

We need to become aware of the thoughts we are having and to practice how to bring us back to the here and now.

Learn to STOP, take a long breath, notice what the physical changes are when you breath in and out. It sounds simple but it isn’t, it needs practice.

Take note of everything you do during the day, walking, eating, drinking, how are you feeling at that precise moment?

Listen to the sounds around you, the birds singing, the sound of running water, the smell of the honeysuckle in the evening, the sound of trees in the breeze.

All too often we are so consumed by our grief we keep our heads down, we never look up, we just don’t see or notice all the amazing things going on around us.

Tell yourself ‘I am OK,’ sing ‘I will Survive’ loudly!!!!!!

It is about accepting where we are, it won’t happen overnight, you need to keep at it. Encourage positive thoughts.

Some days will be better than others, accept that.

Write a list of all the good things you notice.

You are allowed to be happy.

Lastly, work towards peace of mind. Think of what you want out of life even without those ‘precious people’ in your life, who are missing just at the moment. It could be through art, music, writing. Doing those things that you haven’t quite got round to. Supporting others who need help.

Each and every one of us have skills and talents to share with others.

Life is a gift and you owe it to yourself to live it to the full.


(Adapted from BGSGs ‘I will Survive Plan’)



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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