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Sherbears

Something I could do

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Hi I'm new to this group.  I found this site doing a search and am glad I found you. 

My granddaughter's first death anniversary is approaching.  She died just one month short of her 1st birthday.  This was a tragedy that has torn my family apart; specifically my daughter and myself.  She feels that I am over-shadowing her need to mourn for her own daughter and wont' give her space to grieve.  It was never intentional, but possibly  that's what I was doing.  It's just my grandchild's death tore me apart and I didn't know how to deal; my only comfort was my need to be with my daughter.  Nonetheless, my daughter and I are barely speaking.  I would like to do something for my daughter to offer some comfort her daughter's death anniversary, since it's probable that we won't be spending this anniversary together.  I thought about a spa day, a basket, flowers.  I'm not sure what to give that is very special.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

Thank you, Sherbears

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My dear, I'm so sorry to read your sad story ~ because for you this is a double loss. You are mourning not only the loss of your precious granddaughter, but also the loss of whatever closeness you once had with your daughter. Without knowing what went wrong between the two of you, I can only encourage you to tread very softly in however you decide to acknowledge this first death-day anniversary with your daughter. It may be best simply to send a hand-written note to let her know that you're thinking of her. Under the circumstances you describe, if it seems as if no matter what you say or do, it is likely that it will be taken the wrong way, then I think the less you say the better.

I am reminded of the time I sent a note to my daughter-in-law, whom I love dearly, a few months after she and my son had divorced. Their wedding anniversary date was coming up, and I just wanted her to know that I was thinking of her and sending my love on a day that I thought might be especially hard for her. Her reaction was so not what I expected! In fact, she was furious with me. She totally misinterpreted my intentions, lashed out at me in furious anger, and didn't speak to me for months. I had to tell myself that it was not me or what I'd done with the best of intentions that had caused her white-hot anger ~ and what she was really mad about had nothing to do with me. I let her have her space. That was several years ago, and today all is well between the two of us ~ but it took a long time for her to come to terms with the ending of her marriage, and it was work that she had to do herself.

I think the best thing you can do for your daughter is to take care of your own grief as a grandmother whose precious granddaughter has died. Do some reading about the normal grief process. One book I'd highly recommend for you is Nina Bennett's Forgotten Tears: A Grandmother's Journey through Grief

You might also find this article helpful: 6 Things to Never Say to A Bereaved Parent

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I'm sorry for your loss, Sherbears.  Marty has shared some good articles that I hope will be of help to you.  You are grieving as a grandparent, just as your daughter is grieving as a parent.  Your losses are different but both are significant.

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I am very sorry for your loss.  I have a close friend that lost an infant and I have witnessed her lash out at her mother.  Her mom is a wonderful woman.  I think sometimes we lash out at those we love the most.  I have caught myself being grumpy at times with my mother after losing my spouse even though she has been so supportive.  It isn't fair to you, and I commend you for not giving up.  My mother bought me a journal after losing my husband.  I enjoy journaling so it was just what I needed.  Just a note reminding her that you're there for her is a great idea.  I wish you luck in rebuilding that special bond.  And, I will be thinking of you and praying for healing for you and your daughter.

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I like the idea of buying a journaling book for someone who is grieving, it's one way we can help.

Marty posted this elsewhere, I thought it might be of help:

http://www.griefhealing.com/column-helping-another-in-grief.htm

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