Our loved grandparents never die, they just become invisible, but they remain in our hearts forever…
When our grandparents are no longer with us, we continue missing them and most of us would give anything to hear their stories again, to feel their caress, and to gaze into their eyes full of tenderness. Some grandparents have the joy to see their grandchildren being born and growing, but the sad moment is when grandchildren witness their grandparents’ aging and the sad moment when they leave this world.
Grandparents are an important part of families throughout the world as they actively participate in raising their grandchildren and therefore, they’re a pivotal support for the parents, that is, their children. However, the connection between a parent and a child and a grandparent and a grandchild is not the same. The latter tends to be very deep, intimate, and one of a kind. So, grandchildren often find their grandparents’ death as a shocking part of their childhood or adulthood.
Although some grandchildren reach adulthood and their grandparents are still by their side, others don’t have this privilege and they have to face saying goodbye to their grandparents while still being children who don’t have the same understanding of death as adults have. Therefore, often times, parents cannot find the adequate words to explain what happened and to make the goodbye less painful if possible.
According to pedagogues, parents should always be sincere with their children; however, they should know the right way to do that according to the child’s age. Unfortunately, a lot of parents tend to deprive their children from their last farewell with their grandparents or explain their deaths by using phrases like ‘your grandmother or grandfather is now sleeping in the sky’.
Instead, parents should follow these couple of advice when they lose a parent and their children lose a grandmother or a grandfather:
Parents should help their children understand death in a very simple way without any metaphors that may cause misconceptions. For example, if you tell your child that his grandfather has left, the child will eventually start asking when he will be back.
When parents try to explain the death of a grandparent to their children, it’s crucial to emphasize the fact that the deceased is not coming back and these explanations need to be short and concise since children can absorb only limited amount of information.
Adults shouldn’t hide their feelings and tears and we need to teach our children that death is not a taboo and that venting for the loss of a loved one is part of who we are. One needs to be able to grieve and speak freely about it. As soon as children understand these unfortunate events, they will do the same, but meanwhile, we need to ease this transitional period for them.
Although grandparents aren’t physically present, they are always part of their families’ lives.
Grandparents were there to hold our hands while teaching us to walk, write, etc. and even though we cannot hold their hands physically after they die, we carry them in our hearts where they guide us with their light.
Grandparents are present in the photos from our family albums, in the trees and plants they planted, in the dress our grandmothers sewed, in the stories we shared with them, and in the dimple on the chin we inherited from them.
The time you spend with your grandparents is precious and although it cannot last forever, it’s what makes our lives more beautiful and joyful. So, cherish every moment with your grandparents if they’re still alive and if they’re no longer with you, remember to always honor them by never forgetting what they taught you and how they made you feel.