Being denied contact with our grandchildren can happen for a variety of reasons it is not just when a separation or divorce occurs, it can be drug or alcohol dependancy, domestic violence within the home, bereavement or a family feud or disagreement.
However we find ourselves in this situation the result is the same, grandparents and grandchildren being denied a loving and caring relationship with one another.
I have often written of the real feelings of total desperation of grandparents, grandparents who are so distressed that they are unable to get up in the morning, grandparents who refuse to even go shopping because they can’t face the outside world.
Sadly, some who feel their situation is so hopeless that they end their lives, as do non resident parents. A parent who had been denied contact paid that dreadful price this week, they are not the first and they won’t be the last.
My heart goes out to their family and friends.
What goes on in the minds of people who cause another human being to end it all , how do they continue to live their lives?
How do they explain it to the children/grandchildren?
I certainly don’t have a rose tinted glasses view of family life.
I lived in a family whose father led a double life for over 20 years unknown to us all, a father who said he wanted nothing to do with his children. A father I was estranged rom for 15 years, and then when my granddaughter was born after telling hime he was a great grandfather never heard from him again. So I know how it feels to be a child who felt unwanted.
Even after all of that, I never actually wished my father ill. I wasn’t revengeful just so disappointed that the man I thought was my Dad ,wasn’t that man at all.
So what makes family members behave this way, to hurt and punish those who were presumably once loved by one another, we all arrive in this world with a need to be loved and cared for.
As a parent our responsibility is vast, to bring our children up in a hopefully loving and caring atmosphere, an atmosphere of safety, as they grow we teach them how to respect each other and how to develop wings, and we watch them fly to reach their own destiny.
And yet, families grow apart, they have their differences, they fall out with one another, but to take it to the next level of inflicting such pain is unbelievable.
Of course I suppose both sides think they are right, both sides think it is the others fault.
Only we, as individuals, really know what the truth is, in our own cases, but have we all done something so terribly evil that it needs such drastic action to be taken by others?
The proviso here, sadly has to be, that we all know in some horrendous cases it is necessary of course to protect children who are at risk, proven to be at risk, from family members.
But, we are still in the here and now of families being torn apart in their millions, because we either have lost the skill to communicate, or we refuse to communicate or something has broken down to such an extent we don’t know how to put things right.
One of the facts that comes up again and again is money!
Some adult children appear to think they have a right to continually ask their parents for money, and although we would all help our children financially if we are able there are limits, and to ask for money and then to say things like, ” well if we don’t get the money you won’t see the grandchildren,” leaves me speechless, and no, I don’t make these things up, they happen all the time.
What perplexes me is, when I was a young adult not only did I not ask for money but in fact it never even entered my head, so why is it that this generation feel they do have this right?
Is it because we always gave them what they wanted?
I have absolutely no idea.
As I say, we all arrive in this world with nothing, and we leave this world with nothing, it is how we behave, and how we care for each other whilst we are here that matters.
We can never get on with everyone we meet along this life journey, but we can make sure that we never treat others the way we would not like to be treated. That we try and respect our differences, at the end of all of this we have to look inside ourselves, if we can think ,”I did all I could do.” then that is ok.
If you are a parent who thinks the right thing to do is to stop your children having their rightful relationship with a non resident parent or a grandchild not being in their grandparents lives, I ask you one question, ” Do you have the right to inflict such hurt and pain to your children?”