What is it like to be reunited?

Anyone who is denied contact with their precious grandchildren, have one dream, to be reunited with them.

To be able to hold these grandchildren in our arms, to hear their voice is something that we all go over and over in our heads.

Many of us literally have dreams where we are reunited, only to wake and find it was just that a dream.

So is being reunited the ‘panacea’ we all think it will be?

Not always.

If you have been apart for some years from your grandchildren, such a lot has gone on in those intervening years, both for grandparents and the grandchildren.

The little person of maybe 4 or 5 years old, will now be a young person, a young person in their own right. They have their own thoughts about what has gone before but more importantly their own life. For many years of that young life, we haven’t been part of that development.

Some of you will have been estranged/alienated from your own adult children and reconciliation after years of hurt and pain is never going to be easy. Those years of broken trust will take time to heal, with both sides agreeing to move forward and not to look to the past. Often those deep wounds don’t heal, it is just too difficult.

That doesn’t mean to say that just because the adults can’t build those bridges, that the grandchildren don’t  want to be reunited.

In many cases although the adults can’t see a way through, the grandchildren can.

With modern technology the children can and do lead the way forward.

There are many stories where the grandchildren will give their grandparents their mobile numbers or email addresses, and they start their own process of reconciliation.

The deep sadness that is felt by grandparents who can’t regain that relationship with their adult children is palpable, after all, these are their children, however old they may be, and they were loved and cared for them, have always tried to do their best for them.The despair, that somehow something, or someone has damaged that parent/child relationship is beyond understanding.

We can all join the modern blame game, but it is pointless.

Sometimes the grandparents have to make a very difficult decision, the constant belittling of them and accusations that they are ‘toxic’ and they are to blame for everything that has gone wrong in their adult children’s lives, not only affects their mental health but also their physical health, and it may be that for their own sake they have to walk away.

For those of us who have been reunited with our grandchildren know that we have to work hard to regain all that trust that has been broken.

There is one thing that you must be mindful of, and that is this. The little toddler or little person you last saw is no longer that little person.

We can never go back, we have to start again.

From that truly amazing first ‘Hello’ you have to get to know each other again, not only are they older, so are we!

We have to respect them, we must never bad mouth their parents, we must be led by them.

If they ask direct questions about the past be honest and open, without blame.

There will be enormous anxieties on both sides, they will be worried that yet again another adult is going to let them down, you will be frightened to death that you might say or do the wrong thing and you might lose them again.

Nothing is ever certain in this life.

Just take things one at a time, just be you, your love for your grandchild will show in the way you treat them. The love you have for them will be in every hug you give and receive.

Allow the time and above all else, listen.



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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