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07/04/2022 “Grieving the Loss of a Grandparent” By Kaylee McGrath

This week I would like to share the loss of my grandmother who passed away at age 96 on June 23, 2022 and how I’m dealing with my personal grief. It is never easy when you lose any family member, the grieving process, and more importantly the special memories left behind by your grandparents. I’m trying my best to stay busy and active by going out and sitting by the bay or spending time with my parents on Long Beach Island. I’ve been talking with friends and making arrangements to meet for coffee, a cold drink, lunch, etc. Talking to friends on the phone or texting has helped, but seeing their faces in person does help the most. My mother and aunt are now planning a memorial service and of course I will be helping them.

Some of us are not lucky enough to know all of our grandparents and others may live a long distance away and not know them well. For myself, I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time with three out of four of my grandparents. My mother’s father passed away before I was born and my father’s parents both passed away several years ago. For those of you who have not yet experienced coping with the loss of your grandmother or grandfather will definitely depend on the relationship you had with them and also on the reaction of your parents to the loss.

A grandmother and/or a grandfather can sometimes be considered your second set of parents. The second special kind of parent who never gets impatient, grumpy, gives us sweet treats at inappropriate times before a meal, too many sweet treats, or makes you a toaster strudel for dinner when they are babysitting you. A grandmother who will make you a special dinner that is different than what is being served. They bought us special toys and clothing other than for a birthday or holiday, gives us pep talks about ourselves that is different advice from what our parents may give. Grandparents take you out on special day trips or the weekends, and becomes a special friend and hangout buddy. Grandmothers provide soft and warm talks, teach us values and morals that can influence our thoughts and actions throughout our lives. Grandfathers are always there to play games and do adventures with. Grandparents always hung-up our artwork from school, attended school concerts, picked us up from school or after school activities when our parents were not able to. They always made you feel special when you were with them. Grandparents always kept us company and joined us to color, make crafts, read stories, made cooking and eating a fun game, and watched countless videos and our special TV shows/cartoons when they babysat us.

On the flip side, some of us possibly taught our grandparents how to properly use their cellphones, text, join and use Facebook, reconnect the Wi-Fi, search on Google, various apps, remote for the TV, access HBO on demand/Netflix, email and how to attach a photo, or how to use YouTube. We gladly helped out when they dropped something on the floor because we were closer to help pick it up, find their glasses, or remote for the TV (it was usually under the sofa, newspaper, book, jacket, or their blanket).

My grandmother who recently passed away, always encouraged me to work through my challenges and made me believe in myself that I would succeed in life, and to always reach for the stars! She told me there is a special man out there for me that would love me for who I am, my challenges would be accepted, and he would appreciate my special and unique qualities. My grandma insisted that I registered to vote and the importance of voting. She made me feel special that I was a woman and how much women can give back to society and the community. Grandmothers and grandfathers are very special and need to be cherished for as long as we can be with them to enjoy their special time with us!

Source of Information: Personal experiences

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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