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Loss Of Grandparents


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So glad I found this forum, it helps to read other peoples experiences and know that I'm not alone. I had THE most incredible grandparents ever! High school sweethearts who later married while in college. I was fortunate to be with them on thier 71st wedding anniversary! They were major figures in my life. Both had come from nothing and with hard work, perseverance and dedication managed to do very well for themselves. My first car at 16 was a gift from my Grandmother, it was a burgundy colored Jaguar. Not the thing you'd normally give a 16 year old!

I worked with my Grandparents everyday in the family business for 30 years. In 2006 we sold the company. I'm a single man, having raised a son by myself, whos now 29 years old, it made sense for me to sell my home and move in with my grandparents to give them any help I could. My grandmother was in great health and my Grandfather had prostate cancer which was being managed quite well. My Grandmother passed suddenly and without warning on April 29, 2009 followed by my Grandfather on June 10, 2010. ( I think from a broken heart) They were 92 and 93 respectively. Long, healthy, fruitful lives. My mother is an only child so all my aunts and uncles were my grandmothers siblings (7 in all). All of them very strong personalities and all "self made". From 2007 to 2011 I lost all of them including my close cousin who died from breast cancer. It was a funeral about twice a year during that period.

I never quite realized that a huge part of my life was my grandparents until they were gone. They were forever on the go, dragging whoever with them! My grandmothers last week was spent planning a kitchen remodel and a trip to Europe. These were not "old people" sitting in a rocker!

Now, at 50, without them I feel like my life is over. I miss them every day. My social circle has dwindled, my brother and his family live near San Francisco as does my Mom, so I don't have family close by. My son recently moved to the bay area too. It seems like everyone has their lives still going on but mine has come to a stand-still. I felt young, the same as always, until my grandparents passed. Now I'm feeling old and worn out. These people who never once got mad at me for doing stupid stuff and supported me unconditionally, who always had my back are now gone. I haven't worked since 2006, living off investments. I think about doing something but don't even know where to begin. It was always my Grandmother who was the "mover and shaker" of things. I just feel lost I guess.

I've said more in this post than I've ever said to anyone. Even though this may be drawn out and a bit convoluted just typing it has made me feel a bit better. It has been building in me.

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Your post really touched me--I am very sorry for your losses and have been very close to my grandparents as well. My grandpa died June 1, 2009 1 month before my grandparents 60th anniversary. Part of the process for me was letting myself feel really sad and cry, but I was/am still working so I have a routine -- in the beginning it was hard to keep going, but as time went on it gave me some normality in this new world without grandpa. I wonder if finding a volunteer activity that interests you might be a good start to making new connections with people and leaving yourself time and space to grieve?...

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  • 8 months later...

I am sorry I didn't see this sooner, I can't believe it's been this many months before I saw it. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandpa many years ago and still miss him. Your life may feel over, but it isn't...it's just over in the way you knew it. It will take you time to make your way through the grieving process and learn your new normal. I hope you develop some other relationships that help fill the deep void your grandparents have left. For myself, I still haven't filled the void my husband left, the joy is not there in the way that it once was, but I have learned to live with what is and look for joy, however minute, in any form. My circumstances may not be as they once were, but I try to make my focus about enjoying whatever is in this present moment. I hope that for you too, in time. I wish you much peace.

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