October 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, parents | 6 Comments

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. 

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. 

 ~Elizabeth Stone

However, becoming a grandparent is not something you decide.   It is the decision of your child.   Losing your child’s child is in many ways a double loss.   Not only are the grandparents mourning the loss of their grandchild, they also hurt for the pain their child is feeling.   Parents want to be able to fix things for their children.   Parents want to make it better.   Parents want to take away the pain.   

There is no way to fix the loss of a child.   There is no way to make it better.   There is no way to take away the pain.    It is a feeling of helplessness and frustration when a parent cannot fix things for their children.   Often grandparents are referred to as the “forgotten mourners”, as they are here and here.   

A loss of a grandchild is unique.  Death makes us all face the reality that we are not immortal.   It seems especially difficult when the death is out-of-order.   The circle of life does not include burying your children or grandchildren.   It is not the way things are supposed to be.

I am not writing from experience because I have not been a grandparent.   However, I often think about how Evan’s parents and my parents feel.    They grieve for Jake and Sawyer.    They also watch as Evan and I grieve.    We know that you would make it better if you could (and we would let you).    We have not forgotten you.  We thank you and love you. 



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  1. Even in your own grief Lanie, you are still always thinking of others. It has to be very hard for the grandparents.

  2. Kelcey said it well. You are an amazing woman who is always thinking of others.

  3. It’s amazing how wide a circle those precious boys have touched. What an impossible and unfair situation for parent, grandparent, anyone to have to confront. Love to your whole family.

  4. The grandparents love you all. They want to be there for you. They will appreciate this post more than you can imagine.

  5. Just as you think of so many others in your time of grief, I hope you know how many others think of you, and Evan, and the twins. You are an unbelievable woman in your strength and wisdom. Thinking of you now my dear friend.

  6. All that has been written is so true. Double Wammy Grammy is my word for Grand parents. It is so hard to see yor choildren suffer and not be able to help
    GOD bless all in the family my heart aches for your pain

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