Separation of any sort is a loss.
Each individual copes in their own ways, and finds the strategies needed to carry on.
We all know that there is not one size fits all, but I think we acknowledge that this is caused by totally irrational behaviour, so why might irrational behaviour happen?
Thinking about the many thousands of different stories I have heard, there is one common thought, is my daughter/daughter-in-law, son/son-in-law, suffering with mental health issues?
Of course we have no way of knowing the answer, but it is certainly possible, particularly as 1 in 4 of us will suffer with some form of mental health illness during our lives.
Those who have experienced the terrible affect it can have, will know how you can change and you can become almost unrecognisable from the person you thought you were.
It becomes increasingly difficult to think of others, or to recognise the hurt that can be inflicted. It is possible that grown up children see their parents/in-laws as the problem, that they blame their parents/in-laws for the way they are feeling and for all the bad things in their lives.
Maybe they focus their anger and become aggressive with their parents/in-laws because they are unable to see through the fog that swirls around their heads?
I suspect that we have all either been someone who goes through days,months and years, of very dark and difficult times of confusion or we have supported someone who has been had to deal with this.
Could it be that we need to know the right questions to ask?
Ask how we can to make people feel more comfortable and cared for.
Also, what if as a parent in the past we have suffered from severe depression or other forms of mental illness, does that have an impact on our relationships with our adult children?
I listened recently to a conversation, from an adult child, with regard to a breakdown and estrangement. What was clear was that the adult child was concerned and worried about a continuing relationship with their parent as a result of the parents past illness. Years have now past and the adult child, is desperate to put things right, and apologises over and over again, for as they say, the lost years.
As an ‘outsider’ I heard pain, sadness and regret in the adult child’s voice, asking for forgiveness.
I wonder how many other estranged adult children are feeling this way, wanting to reconcile but not knowing how to?
Do they not say that sorry is the hardest word?
The truth is that we may never know why or how we find ourselves in this position, but we need to keep an open mind and heart. Making the decision to stop a grandparent any contact with their grandchildren, is irrational so is it possible it is as a result of a mental health issue?
Mental health illness can happen to anyone, it can impact on everything and everyone in your life.
We need to recognise that it may be an important part of a breakdown in relationships.
Of course I am no expert, just an observer.