When It’s Hard To Move On Even After Getting Grief Counseling

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There was a time in my life when I really felt like I was the queen of the world. I had an incredible job that gave me six figures every year. I found an amazing group of friends who always had my back even if I did not ask. Of course, I had parents who never left my side and always pushed me to be the best person that I could ever be.

Then, one evening, I got a call from a neighbor of all people.

I said, “Hi, how did you get my number?”

“Your parents give it to me a while ago. They instructed me to call you if there was an emergency. And… there is an emergency,” the neighbor replied shakily.

I almost wanted to yell at the neighbor and tell them to stop kidding around. However, in fear of their words being true, I decided to jump out of bed and go to my parents’ house. I could not drive out of nervousness, so I had an Uber driver bring me to their place.

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Before the car rounded the corner and reached my parents’ street, though, I could see the billowing smoke where I knew my parents’ house stood. It made everything so real so fast and pushed me to believe that the neighbor was pranking me.

My parents were the most important people in my life, and I could never hug them or see them became some punk chose to set their house on fire for fun. Hands down; it was the most cruel joke of all time.

Going To Grief Counseling

Despite my parents’ sudden deaths, they were the most prepared people that I knew when it came to dying. They told me that they already finished their last will and testament when they were only in their thirties. At 40, my mom and dad even bought two plots at the nearby graveyard to ensure that they would be together even in death.

It makes me tear up as I write this now, but exactly a week after my parents’ deaths, I received an email from a grief counselor, telling me that my parents had their lawyer contact her as a part of their post-mortem plan so that she could help me handle their passing. It was safe to say that neither of them thought of dying at the same time, but it worked. It was so like my parents to do that – to think ahead of what I would need before I even needed them.

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I did what my parents wanted me to do. I went to grief counseling for the first consultation and realized that the counselor was really super sympathetic about my current ordeal. She said she did not want to overstep and make me feel like I needed to heal at her pace, which I genuinely admired at that moment.

Unfortunately, after a couple of months of being in counseling, I did not feel like I was getting any better. It could be because the counselor was too nice or too easygoing – I did not know – but it was not working for me.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that grief counseling was not my cup of tea. But when I got to talk to my other friends, they said it was possible that it was the grief counselor that was not working for me. So, I decided to look for another one. I presumed that my parents would be okay with whoever I chose as my new cancer as long as I got counseling.

Getting Better

Although I was a total noob when it came to counseling in general, I was quick realize the difference between a nice counselor and someone who genuinely understood you.

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I found Dr. Cruz after a few months of going through different counseling professionals. I was starting to get depressed at that point, but a work friend recommended him to me, so I gave it a shot.

During the initial consultation, I was prepared to give a long speech about what I was going through. However, Dr. Cruz was like, “We won’t take the typical route today. Instead, please tell me about your parents.”

It was so simple. It was not even an order but a request. And I began telling the counselor the best things I remembered and missed the most about my mom and dad. What’s amazing was that I was doing most of the talking, but the counselor could get the conversation going with small nods and smiles. I could have gone on for an entire day if Dr. Cruz’s secretary did not knock to inform him that his next client already arrived.

Though it was a little overdue, it was the beginning of my healing process.

Final Thoughts

I found it challenging to move on even if I had a grief counselor by my side soon after my parents’ burial because she was not the most suitable one for one. When I finally met my match, letting go became easier than expected.

Moving Forward With Grief As A Family

Experiencing grief is inevitable, and we’ll face it sooner or later. For instance, losing a loved one is a tough challenge for a family, and it can take a long time for them to recover from the heartache. Nonetheless, families can overcome this sad reality if they grieve together and move forward with grief.

We have heard multiple times that we have to “move on from grief.” However, according to Nora McInerny, an author, we do not move on from grief. We move forward with it. She also reminds people that “we need to remember that someone who is grieving will laugh again and smile again. […] Absolutely, they’re going to move forward, although this doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.”

Effects Of Grief 

Grief can affect us in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to family relations. We are in a state of shock of disbelief whenever we recall the time our loved one has departed. Some of us may cry when we remember them, some don’t cry at all, or they feel numb.

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Grief can also affect us physically—it can be truly exhausting. It weakens our immune system, making us prone to colds or other illnesses. Family members may also isolate themselves from others as a way to cope and move on from the loss.

These situations are typical whenever we feel grief. However, when things get complicated or when the loss of our loved one came from a traumatic experience, it may interfere with our daily lives and can lead to depression. That being said, each family member must stick together during this grueling time.

Family Members Have Different Ways Of Coping

There is no absolute way on how to grieve. We must respect each family member’s way of grieving or coping mechanism. Give yourself space as well to grieve on your own. According to Sarah Epstein, MFT, “If an individual’s form of grief brings discomfort for you, take notice of it and perhaps leave the room. Do not keep on making a person feel bad about the way they grieve, as long as it does not hurt others.”

In David Kessler and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s book On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss, they explained the five phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

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Karen Dela Cruz, an assistant professor from Brigham Young University, says that these five stages are simply rough guidelines, and “they do not occur in order, and they’re rather more fluid than was previously thought. You can go to and fro  and in between them, you can be in two stages at once, and not everybody goes through every stage.”

Know That You Are Not Alone

You may feel that other members have moved on from grieving, while you haven’t. Some family members grieve longer, and some, although they may seem stoic, get sudden flashbacks from the past and feel heartbroken all over again. The beauty of family life is that we are never alone in our struggles. We always watch out for and help one another. Let your family member feel that they are not alone through these simple ways:

  • Send Something

Make one of your family members feel appreciated while they going through a hard time by sending something. It may be in the form of giving them flowers, writing a simple handwritten message saying that we will get through this, or baking them their favorite cookies or brownies.

  • Offer A Helping Hand

Some of our family members need practical support in doing tasks because your departed loved one used to do them when they were still alive. Moreover, grief makes them less motivated to do simple daily tasks. Lend a hand to your family member by doing these chores and see what you can do based on your ability and skills.

Some of these tasks may include mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or teaching other family members on household responsibilities. You may not be the perfect person for that job, but what matters most is that you can decrease the burden of your bereaved family members from work left by the deceased.

  • Be There For Them
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“Let me know if you need anything” may be one of the most cliché messages a bereaved family member or friend may receive. This message may not give them the assurance and support that they need during this time.

Be a supportive family member by showing that you are the person that they can count on. Be physically there in times when your bereaved family member needs someone, check on them regularly through text or call, offer a hug, share stories and pictures with the person you both miss, and many more.

Seek Family Therapy If Necessary

Psychologists can help each family member better handle anxiety, fear, or depression from the loss of a loved one. Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that creates more meaningful and healthy conversations among family members. Through family therapy, you and your family members can better understand one another and learn coping mechanisms that will bring you closer together.

Grief Takes Time

As we try to become better versions of ourselves, we must acknowledge that what we are feeling is normal. In times like this, being there for your family members is more vital than ever. We are not alone, and our family will always be there for us, especially during hard times. Things will be better as you slowly move forward with your family.

 

 

A Grieving Loved One

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I made it a point to participate in the 2019 Grief Symposium so I can help my grieving grandmother. It has been two years since my grandfather died, and she is still depressed to the point that some days, she would not get out of bed. This is alarming for me since I am a mental health counselor for children, and even if I do not treat adults, I do know how depressions look like, and she has it.

 

My parents died when I was young, and I grew up with my grandparents. It was not hard for me to move on because I was only two when they had that fatal accident, and I had no memories of them. I would see pictures in albums, and I know what they look like, but I do not personally know them. That is what I miss about them, but my grandmother filled up that void. My grandfather was also one of my sources of joy and my rock, as well.

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I was grieving too when the Lord took him two years ago, but I got past it and was able to manage. My problem now is my grandmother, who cannot seem to get over the fact that her husband is not with us anymore. I will not understand it yet because I have never been married, but by the looks of it, losing a spouse can make life seem as if it is not worth living. And I do not want my grandmother to feel that way. I want to see that lively, vivacious, loud, and loving woman back again.

That is the reason why I joined the symposium, but of course, I also saw that opportunity to improve my craft. At least now, I am not only a therapist for young kids. I am also a therapist for people who are in grief. I can say for sure that the dynamics are different, but with continuing education on grief therapy and the practice itself, I will improve. My purpose is to get better at this because I want to help my grandmother. I want her to be better.

Continue reading “A Grieving Loved One”

Losing A Loved One

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The 2017 Grief Symposium has provided me a different perspective when it comes to death, especially that of a close loved one and addressing grief. As a person with no close relative or friend who just died, you can just say “Condolence” or “I am so sorry for your loss,” but can you really say that you feel it? We are all just polite in saying these words to people who are grieving, and we will only find out about it if we are in that position, unfortunately.

Continue reading “Losing A Loved One”

Dating after the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one might be one of the hardest things someone must go through. Often, death comes like a thief in the night. When this happens, your world turns upside down. Whether the person is a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or life partner regardless of the time together, it will affect the person left behind dramatically.  The plans and wishful thinking of spending milestones in life with each other and grow old along with probable future grandkids are gone out the window. It can be very traumatic for the partner that was left behind.

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Finding a new love and opening yourself to dating is difficult. It’s like going back to square one again. You are making yourself vulnerable to different emotions and the possibility of loss. Also, another factor to consider is the feeling of guilt and unworthiness. The widow might feel that she/he is betraying the memories of their beloved spouse as well as being unfair to the new person since he/she will be getting the broken version of you. All these feelings are normal and typical but take note that this phase will soon pass. With active support system and counseling, anybody can emotionally survive losing a loved one.

What You Should Know

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Always remember that dating is not necessary after the passing away of your spouse. Work within your timeline. There is no appropriate timeline for grieving a loved one. In the beginning, one will usually be overwhelmed with grief, loss, and sadness; thus, dating is the last thing on their mind. It varies from person to person, but when the time is right, you will know. This could happen in a few months or maybe, years after. Grief is intense and idiosyncratic, and the response of everyone varies. For older adults who spent decades with their partners, experiencing being alone for the first time might lead to depression.

Now comes the dating part, the dilemma is how open will you be with your date. Will you spill the details about being a widow/widower on the first date? Do you share with him/her information about your late spouse?

The best guideline to follow is telling the truth. Honesty doesn’t mean pouring your heart out on the first date or pointing out details of your previous relationship in your dating profile. When relationship history comes up in conversation, you should be ready to tell him/her the truth. The death of a loved one is part of who you are. Your prospect partner should know this and be able to accept that grieving your loss will not stop upon starting a relationship. Dating will not end a person from loving, missing and imagining life about their dead spouse. Due to this, it might be unavoidable to compare your relationship with your deceased partner and new love; however, stop yourself from going that route which will only create more problems for you and your new partner. It is incredibly unfair for the other person to compete or fit the missing hole in your life – because it will not happen.

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Lastly and most of all, remember that you have the right to be happy. It is okay to love and be happy again. You are not ruining or tarnishing the memory of your late husband/wife by doing so. Humans are social creatures who need acceptance and love by others.

Coping At Work When Grieving A Loved One’s Death

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Losing someone you love is an unavoidable and unpredictable part of life. We’ll never know when we’d have to say our final goodbyes. Although you may want to stay in bed and away from everyone during those hard times, life, unfortunately, goes on for everyone. You’ll soon have to get back on your feet and return to your job. During these vulnerable times, it is crucial to cope with your grief healthily.

Let Your Boss And Your Colleagues Know

Relaying the news to other people after a loss is undoubtedly painful. Loss and death can make people feel uncomfortable. It leaves us at a loss of what to do and what to say. However, letting people at work know that you are grieving can prevent you from repeating yourself over and over again.

Informing your workplace can be done by emailing or calling. You can also ask a close co-worker, your supervisor, or the HR department to let people know on your behalf. As each of us mourns in different ways, communicating with your co-workers will let them know how you want to be comforted. Besides, “No one is born knowing how to cope with the wave of grief that follows the death of someone we love. As a psychotherapist who’s worked with many grievers, I know when faced with overwhelming grief, many people feel like they are alone in what they’re experiencing and can feel like they’re going crazy.” Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC said.

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Forgive Yourself

“There’s no one answer about what to do when you miss someone—it really depends on the situation.”  Gregory Kushnick, PsyD. said. That is why grief affects us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. It is hard to expect yourself to quickly go back to your old self and work at your best condition. Forgive yourself if you make mistakes in your job or if the weight of your grief affects your work performance despite doing your best.

These are some challenges that you may face:

  • Apathy or lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating on a task
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feeling exhausted at work
  • Failing to accomplish simple tasks you used to do before easily

During this time, avoid making major life decisions, such as resigning from your job or moving to a new place. Let yourself finish grieving and have your mind be rested and refreshed before making any significant changes in your life.

Allow Yourself To Take Time Off

Society expects us to keep moving forward all the time. We live in a heartless society where we are expected to be productive even at the expense of our health. However, it is impossible to escape from the feeling of grief. The smallest of the things can trigger your memories with the loved one you lost.

“The experience of losing someone we love is a process most everyone endures in a lifetime.” Annie Vaughn, MA, LMHC said. During this time, remind yourself that it’s okay to feel the way you feel. It is healthy to cry as much as you need. While you can’t control it all, you can take measures to still function at work while grieving.

If you’re on the verge of tears suddenly, know the private spaces where you could be alone for a while to release your emotions and compose yourself. You can communicate with your workplace and ask for their understanding. You can also ask for a different work setup, such as working from home or getting permission to leave the office earlier.

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Find Time For Grief Support

It is vital to connect and reach out to people whom you can rely on and have someone with whom you can share your feelings and experiences. It can be a struggle at first, but having a great support system can help you cope with a little ease with the death of a loved one.

Balancing mourning and working can provide you with the comfort that you need. Reaching out to others and forgiving yourself can alleviate your pain in this trying time.

How E-Journal Can Help You Deal With Your Grief

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It is one thing to deal with your grief inside your head; it is another to vent it out. However, people do not always have someone to listen to them. Your friends and family are not available to listen to you all the time. During those times, you will be required to deal with your emotions healthily.

One way of venting out without sharing with other people is through writing journals. Thankfully with the advancements in technology, people can download journal applications. There are different choices for these applications, and most of them are free.

Electronic journals provide convenience since you can quickly type whenever you want and wherever you are. You only need to have a smartphone or a tablet with you. These journals also offer security through passcodes.

Aside from the convenience and security electronic journals provide, here are other benefits you can get from journaling.

Keep Track Of Your Emotions

Karen Doll, Psy.D., L.P. notes about mental health; “Suffering has complicated factors that interface including: physical, psychological, social, emotional and neurological.” However, writing can help you keep track of your unfiltered emotions. When venting to another person, you might filter heavily charged emotions. However, when you use journals, you are confronted with your true self. You can write without the feeling of being judged by others.

Also, with regular journaling, you will be aware of your mood shifts and what causes them. You can go back to your previous entries, and you might see the pattern of your emotions. You will now be aware of the triggers that cause negative feelings. Similarly, you will be mindful of events that give you feelings of joy.

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Improve Your Mood

Since you are now aware of your emotions, you can know how to improve your mood in certain situations gradually. You are aware of activities that lighten your mood. In this way, you can choose to participate in happiness-inducing activities for you.

Thus, you can lower your body’s stress level when you regularly write about your emotions. Writing about a bad experience can help you cope healthily. As you write entries, you will realize you are beginning to calm down. This lowered stress level is due to the proper expression of negative emotions. Dr. David Ballard, PsyD often says that “When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.” So one should watch out.

You can also choose to challenge mental triggers to address your mental health better. It is important to challenge these triggers for you to take control of your mental state. Denying the existence of these triggers will only bottle up your negative emotions. It is always best to express feelings since they are to be felt and conveyed.

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Analyze Your Reactions

You can easily navigate electronic journals through certain features such as the search bar and categories. Using these tools, you can analyze your past feelings and reactions. These options offer a great way to assess yourself.

Self-awareness is a step towards self-improvement. You can be aware of any toxic behavior you might have. It is essential to know this kind of action since there are times wherein they cause an unhealthy coping mechanism. This way, you avoid being toxic not only to yourself but also to others

Grief is part of being human. “Everyone reacts differently to grief, and how one reacts has a great deal to do with what happened and whether they’ve dealt with it appropriately.” Janeen Herskovitz, MA, LMHC says. No one should be ashamed to feel negative emotions as long as a person tries to deal with them accordingly. Through journals, a person can control his or her emotions, thereby improving his or her mood.

How to Move On from the Death of a Spouse

One of the most painful events that humans can experience is the death of their partner in life. They are the persons whom they shared their dreams with and loved more than their own life. A partner in life is not just a spouse, but a person that filled many roles in the presence of another individual – to him/her such as traveling companion, life adviser, co-parent, confidante and best friend.

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The passing of someone so special to one’s life is painful physically, emotionally, and practically. It seems that a person’s life is dependent on the partner that the other can no longer function adequately. The emotional burden is a typical reaction, and it is even more painful if the relationship has gained a stronger connection and years of togetherness. It is understandable for someone to feel that nobody can replace the loved one or take away the pain. But one can seek support from other people as the feelings of grief persists and starts to learn how to change one’s life in so many areas. The presence of a non-judgmental and caring person may help the one who grieves in facing the following four essential things on this journey.

Accept The Reality Of The Loss


Accepting the death of a special someone may be very difficult to do. At first, a person will experience denial responses that may take place for a couple of weeks. Accepting the reality of loss involves overcoming the natural denial response. Activities such as viewing the body of the partner, attending the funeral and burial services, and visiting the tomb can be a great aid in helping the person embrace the truth. Sharing one’s feelings with other significant people may also aid in admitting the real situation. When a person accepts this reality, a sense of freedom is also established to take the consolation of knowing that there is life after death and there is no reason for prolonged grieving.

“Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness.” –Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP


Experience The Pain Of Grief

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Pain is a natural feeling during death and loss of a significant person. But many people are trying to cover up their suffering by bottling up their emotions or hiding their feelings. The only way to overcome grief is to go through all the pain until it all dries out. A person who is not allowing himself to grieve can fall into depression or other health problems. Crying, shouting and other forms of expressing grief provides genuine relief.


Adjust To An Environment In Which You Are On Your Own

If a person has an established relationship with the lost partner, most likely they had already assigned specific roles and responsibilities to each other. Assuming the part of the deceased loved one can be very challenging at first, but eventually, the other partner will adapt to the new environment. If the person feels that the house is empty, getting a pet can ease loneliness, or joining organizations or hobby groups can keep one’s time busy. Regular phone calls from friends and other family members can also be a practical help. Staying with children and spending time with grandchildren can also ease the burden of depression.

“When people are given a supportive environment and a safe relationship, they can let down their guard and heal.” –Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD

Invest The Emotional Energy You Have In Healthy And Life-Giving Relationships

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It is not advisable to rush in finding a new romantic relationship but having connections to other people with similar interests is essential. For the younger individuals, this aspect is still very much open, and the possibility of engaging in another relationship is not far from happening. For the senior group, finding a new partner is no longer their priority; however, there are also some that seek new relationships for the sake of companionship.

“Losing someone or something you love and care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up.” –Kevin Stevenson, LMHC, MCAP


There are no comforting words that can ease one’s pain when grieving the death of a life-long partner. Nonetheless, one can go through the process and as the adage says, “Time heals all wounds.”

Grieving Before They’ve Gone

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When we unexpectedly lose somebody, the shock seems to take over our minds and bodies for a while. Then the grieving process ensues. But what happens to the grieving process when we already know a loved one’s time is due? In the cases of families with a terminally ill family member, anticipatory grief is normal.

“Grief is a part of life we must embrace. Many people are grieving, feeling alone and overwhelmed. It’s important to remember that tears are like small messengers of unspeakable, indescribable love.” –Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC

Anticipatory grief is mourning when expecting a death. Meanwhile, conventional grief is grieving after a death. In no way does it shorten the grieving process postmortem because these are two different phases. Some mourners describe their anticipatory grieving to be more severe compared to conventional grief. Anticipatory grief may help families by preparing them to say goodbye, getting closure, or asking and granting forgiveness.

Anticipating a close friend’s or family’s leaving is a difficult and challenging process. Grievers say anticipatory grief involves more anger, guilt, and anxiety. Before dealing with grief, we must ascertain if we have reached that in-between place of grieving. Here is a list of symptoms to indicate whether you are grieving before they have gone.

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Symptoms

  • Irritability And Anger. People who anticipate future death often get angry with themselves. This irritability and anger become associated with guilt and memories of regret concerning your loved one. As explained by Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP “Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness.”
  • Sensitivity. When you are expecting someone to leave, especially when that person is dear to you, it is hard to let go. During anticipatory grief, you find yourself easily affected by commercials or talks about your situation, making you tear up quickly.
  • Fear. When losing a loved one, mourners fear the changes that will follow their absence.
  • A Desire To Talk. Your loved ones leaving takes a significant toll on you emotionally. People who experience this have a strong compulsion to share their feelings with anybody who might understand. If mourners do not have an outlet to express their hurts and continue bottling up their emotions, grieving becomes a more substantial burden. Family members usually spend time reminiscing memories about their loved ones.
  • Anxiety. There are different effects of knowing a person is dying and knowing when it is going to happen. Caring for a dying person makes you anxious most of the time.
  • Intense Concern For The Person Dying. Family members or friends express strong concern for their beloved in physical, emotional, and even spiritual aspects.
  • Rehearsal Of Death. These are times when you catch yourself thinking about the passing away of your loved one. You think about what your reaction will be and how you are to manage. On the other hand, if you are the one leaving, you think about the people you will leave behind.

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How To Cope

Although it shares similarities with conventional grief, its uniqueness requires particular coping mechanisms. We want to share with you tips on coping with anticipatory grief.

  • Share your feelings. Talk to a confidant who can relate to your situation. They may be another trusted family member or a reliable friend. Express to them your feelings about your loved one, your fears, guilt, and sorrows. Unloading will help you get a grip on your feelings of loss and function as best as you can.
  • Settle unresolved issues. In other words, get closure. Apologize or forgive the person for any misunderstandings and fights between you two. Do not stop there; find a resolution to any loose ends.
  • Make the most out of the remaining time. Though your loved one might have changed, he/she still appreciates spending time with you. Spend quality time with him/her by going outside if it’s manageable, playing games, or reading to him/her. Time is a luxury you must not squander at this point.

“Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out.”  That is what Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD said. Preparing to let go of a loved one doesn’t mean you have stopped loving them. We hope you find a safe place in this trying time.

How To Introduce Deceased Grandparents To Children

Whenever I see children with their grandparents, I feel guilty and sad that my children never get to experience the love and comfort of their grandparents. My parents died before I had my two children – Dave and Jam – who are now both 9 and 7 years old. They passed away in a somewhat traumatic way as they were killed both in a car accident on their way to vacation to spend their wedding anniversary. So this was also hard for me. I am an only child, and after that incident, I went to live with my mother’s sister who raised me and stood as my second mother. But Aunt Julie died due to cancer when I was seven months pregnant with Dave. My husband is Greek, and his parents are already very old and living overseas. With my life story, my children never had the chance to spend their time with a grandparent. How can I introduce them and let them be aware that they had loving grandparents?

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Some of us go this stage in life where a parent or both parents are already gone by the time they start their own family. Grandparents are no longer around to be with their grandchildren. For some families and cultures, the presence of a grandparent in the life of a growing child is significant. They serve as a buffer between the parents and the children. Also, they contribute to the growth and development of the child.

It is believed that a grandparent has a different level of love towards their grandchildren. Parents who were used to be strict with their children will soon become more lovable and be accommodating to their future grandchildren. If parents before were hard to convince when asked for something, by the time they become a grandparent, they either spoil or allow everything that their grandchildren want to do. Their children are somehow baffled by the sudden change of behavior of their parents. The grumpy old man is now soft-spoken and sweet to their grandchild. Psychology dictates that the senior years bring realizations of the past experiences and a chance to make amends for what was believed to be a wrongful act or behavior. For grandparents, this is their manner of redemption and their way of showing affection to their grandchildren.

Perhaps, this is why the mother in the narrative was so downcast that her children never got to experience living and sharing their lives with their grandparents. Even with the presence of older adults around this family, a blood-related grandparent is much more suitable and capable of providing these emotions.

It is an excellent decision to introduce the children to their grandparents even if they are not around anymore. The lives of their grandparents complete their own lives at present, and a little story about them will surely make them appreciate their own lives at the moment.

Suggested Methods To Keep Memories Alive

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Show Them Photographs Depicting Their Everyday Life And Their Favorite Activities. Some children will be surprised that they share the same affinity towards a sport, food, music, art, or hobby. In this manner, even if they have not seen their grandparents, a sense of belongingness is established, and a connection with their grandparents is created. George was five years old when we started to talk about his grandpop who was a painter. He was seven years old when he saw my dad’s old sketchbook and drawings in an old notebook. He immediately had this aha moment and exclaimed, “So, that’s where I got my artistic talents!”. My heart was full upon hearing this. It was very touching and I shed a tear.

Place A Framed Photo In The Family Den Or A Place Where Other Family Photos Are Displayed. It’s not enough that they are shown old pictures of their grandparents and then keep them hidden in a drawer afterward. When you present a framed photograph of grandparents, children will keep in mind about them, and this is a passive memory making strategy to help them be aware of their grandparents.

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Name Your Child After Your Parents. If you are amenable, you can either name your child or make a second name in memory of your deceased parents. By the time they grow up, they will get to know the meaning behind their name and why they are called as such.

It is indeed unfortunate that some children have not been given the chance to be with their grandparents, especially if the grandparents were loving, kind and understanding. There is no easy way to replicate this. Nonetheless, telling your children about their beautiful memories and continuing to share the same love, kindness and understanding with them can help live a life remembering and loving their grandparents.