In the AARP magazine article titled, “The Forgotten Mourners” grandparents of children who died in the Newtown school shooting shared their thoughts.
One set of grandparents said, “We have been trying to cope with our own grief, but what hurts the most is seeing our daughter and her husband trying to deal with their grief.” Yes, Grandparents cry twice. They cry once for the grandchild and again for the grief of the parents—their son or daughter.
The article includes some suggestions for caring for grieving grandparents:
- Help grandparents express difficult feelings. (See Wisdom of the Wounded/Listen)
- Give a helpful book. Suggested books: The Grief Recovery Handbook, John W. James or Grandparents Cry Twice by Mary Lou Reed. It’s a good idea to read the book first to see if you endorse the book. By reading the book, you as a caregiver can also learn about grieving issues.
- Encourage grieving grandparents to take a break. Maybe they could visit a friend or a place that nourishes them.
- Remind grandparents that grief takes time and patience. There are no quick fixes.
- Help grieving grandparents create a legacy by planting a tree, starting a scholarship fund in the loved one’s name or starting a new family ritual.
Let us not forget that grandparents grieve too!
The above wisdom is from: AARP Magazine (December 2013/January 2014)