Death of a grandchild

Bets - posted on 09/27/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My 5 year old grandson died on September 2, 2009. He fell out of a 3rd story window and landed on the cement below. He fell at about 3:15pm, and died at 8:05 from massive head and brain injury.



I am having a really hard time dealing with this. I have to be strong for my daughter and her other son, my grandson, who is 8 years old. I don't know how I can grieve. He wasn't my son. He was my grandson.



Someone once told me that people who grieve for an adult, grieve for what was. But people who grieve for a child grieve for what could have been.



I am grieving for what was, and what could have been. How do I allow myself to grieve, and still be there for my daughter, and my other grandson? Has anyone else been through this?

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Loretta - posted on 03/15/2014

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My granddaughter died on March 9 2014 it's way to much for me to handle she was stillborn we knew she would not live every long or at all she had anencephaly but we never got to see her alive lm really having a hard time being happy i all so have a 19 month old granddaughter she doesn't understand much but when she see grandma sad she hugs me for a long time as if she understands my daughter seems to be handling better than me some ideas on how to cope would be nice thank you

Margarita - posted on 11/11/2009

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I am also a grandmother that lost her grand daughter to Sids, but there is no words I have n always will grieve though I do it when my daughter is not looking when she is not around when I go to sleep or wake up , sundays are the worst for that was the morning we found her, we though we was doing all the right things but she still passed away so I know what u r going thru I join a group for what we r going thru sometimes it's good to talk but there are days that i just cry for anything n talking doesn't help, it's been 7 months and i also think it just happen yesterday too. I can't tell u how to grieve either or which way is rite so i just wanted to let u know i also know what u r going thru maybe talking to each other we mite get it out n comfort each other!!

Let me know!!

Rita

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BRENDA LEE - posted on 11/23/2012

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HI BETSY I WAS READING YOUR STORY SORRY FOR YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER,S, LOST ABOUT A MONTH IT WAS JUST OCTOBER 4,2012 WHEN WE WOKE UP TO MY DAUGHTER (D)SCREAMING SAYING THE BABY STOPPED BREATHING IT WAS SOMETHING I FEARED LIKE JUMPING IN THE OCEAN AT NIGHT. SHE WAS A PREEMIE AND NOBODY TOLD US THAT THERE WAS ANYTHING WRONG SHE HAD TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE COMING HOME SHE WAS PERFECT` I WAS THINKING OF ADOPTING BEFORE MY DAUGHTER HAD RIVER SHE WAS A JOY TO ME MY LIFE I THOUGHT WAS OVER I WAS ANGRY WITH GOD AND SOMETIMES STILL AM WHY WOULD GOD DO THIS TO ME WHAT WAS THE POINT I DON'T GET IT SHE WAS HERE 38 DAYS I MISS HER SO MUCH AS I THOUGHT OF YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER I SAID TO MYSELF I'M GRIEVING NOT ONLY FOR THE LOST OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER BUT FOR MY DAUGHTER LOST SHE LOVED THAT BABY HER ONLY CHILD SO MY ANSWER TO YOU WOULD BE WE AS MOM AWAY TRY AND MAKE IT BETTER THIS TIME WE WHERE BOTH AT A LOST OF NOTHING TO DO TO KISS THE HURT AND MAKE IT BETTER I COULD ROLL OVER AND DIE MYSELF BUT THAT NOT WHAT MY GRANDDAUGHTER DIED FOR BUT THAT I RAISE AND AWARENESS OF THAT

SOMETHING SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAID DID THE DOCTORS KNOW WHY DIDN'T THEY TELL US 3 NEO NICU DOCTOR'S AND THEY SAID NOTHING TWO FAMILY DOCTOR'S A

HOST OF NURSES NOBODY SAID NOTHING YOUR GRIEVING IS REAL DO SOMETHING IN HONOR OF YOUR GRAND SON MAYBE MANDATORY SAFETY BARS TO ALL

SECOND STORY APARTMENTS AND HOUSES SOLD IN AMERICA



START AND ......ORG IN HIS NAME RAISE MONEY TO LET OTHER GRAND'S KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR HOUSE'S TO HAVE SAFETY WINDOWS.... MAY GOD BLESS YOU IS MY PRAYER BLB

Debbie - posted on 04/07/2010

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In 1989 I lost my 17 year old daughter and my mom latter told me that she felt like she was grieving double for the grand daughter and her own daughter. She was "there" for me in all the steps of grief. She cried laughed what ever it took. Just be your self MOM and she will have the support she needs.You need this as much as she needs it GRIEVE You all have to so do it together. My sincere condolences. It will get easier ( not better) God bless you and guide you.

Ladine - posted on 04/05/2010

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first this must be so hard for you my "condolences"..,well just to be there and be strong is easier said then done, I BEEN THRU THE LOSS OF MISSCARRIAGES WHICH IS SAd also as any loss is. sorry for the caps on...Best thing to do is focus on whats left and follow thru with how the family is reacting and coping.For now talking about it helps. MY BLESSINGS TO YOU & your family

Cindy - posted on 02/21/2010

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I have been through this having lost my 3 week old granddaughter in 2007 to heart problems. I also had a hard time knowing how to grieve for Cadence, my granddaughter while remaining strong for my daughter. It was only through alot of prayers and the strength that God gave me and of course time did I make my way through it. There is not a day goes by that I still don't grieve for what could have been. I will always grieve for her. I have 6 other grandchildren, and wish everyday she was here to play with her cousins. But I know now, that she is in a better place, and I will see her again one day. The best advice I can give is take it one day at a time, lean on God and be strong for your daughter and other grandson, and in helping them through it, it will allow you to heal. May God bless you and your family.

Sheila - posted on 01/31/2010

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Oh my God! I am soooooo sorry! Thankfully I have not been through that one. I hope to God I never am. I am not stranger to grief, though, having lost my husband to a car accident when my our daughters were very young. I was a mess and had a hard time seeing anyone else's sorrow or grief b/c I was so caught up in my own.

The best advice I can give you is you do NOT have to be strong for anyone, per se. You are allowed to grieve, and it is okay to do it in front of her or alone. It is okay for you to break into laughter together and have fun at the beach with the 8 year ole (or whereever) - it does NOT mean that you are 'over it'. It means, that for those precious few minutes, you are surviving. If you break into sobs in front of your daughter or even your grandson, it is okay. You can talk about it if they want. It is good for them to see someone else going through this as well. If that happens, it does not mean that you are 'losing it' or 'weak'. It means that for those few moments you are grieving. When I first returned to work after my husband died - who was my best friend in the world since I was 14 years old - I was 28 when he died - I just could not turn off the tears. I walked around work with a constant stream of tears flowing. I gave up trying to hide them and nobody said anything about it. We talked of work things when we needed to and sometimes about other things and all the while, the tears flowed. I appreciated that everyone just let it be. It's not like I could have stopped it anyway. It lasted for days.

I am sorry to say that you will not get 'over' this and life will never go back to the way it was. But you will learn to live with it and you will be able to feel true happiness again as will the older boy and your daughter. Just allow yourselves all the time you need. You don't know how to grieve. I know EXACTLY what you mean by that statement. No one does know how - it wasn't meant to be like that. But little by little time slips by and little by little your grieving will happen and life happens. Exercise and fresh air fuel positive energy. I used to DRAG myself out of doors to try to not die 'that' day (any given day). I really thought pain like that must mean I would die. How could I hurt like that and survive? Dying would have been the easier thing. but... little by little for now it's live in the moment. Just do that. At some point you'll find yourself focusing on getting through the day instead of the hour. The one that really needs a release assistance might be the older sibling. God bless you and for what it's worth I'd like to leave you with this thought. It came from a poem someone sent me and I'll just give you the gist of it, since I don't recall it's exact words. But God looked over the entire world and of all the people here, he chose you and your daughter to be that child's mother and grandmother. The 8 year old to be his brother, etc. You were all chosen for each other for a reason. I know that even knowing the outcome and knowing the end would come far sooner than you expected, you would never ever give up the moments, days, years the joy, passion and sheer love you gave and received to avoid the pain of losing him.

Teach the 8 year old that God does not cause death. sin does. God made it so it isn't final. God bless you all and give you strength. I have known people this has happened to, but not closely, and it still hits me hard every time I hear of a child's death b/c I know, I guess, it could be any of us at any time. Congratulations for being blessed with a love so grand! And my prayers are with you now as you are forced to adjust to a different life. Also.. the only thoughts that answered back in my head as I mentally screamed "WHY?!" Why me? Why my daughters? Why my husband? .... the only answer I heard was a clear and quiet "Why not"? and I knew it meant to ask me if I thought I was so special that I should be able to avoid the day to day heartache that a sinful world brings, and I knew i could not. Still, I did for a bit, hate God for allowing it to touch me. Even that, he understood and took and did not hate me back for.. Just a thought. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you ever want to.. just to listen or whatever...I think it was very wise of you to come here to look for support, too. Good move.
Take care, Bets, and again, God Bless You!

Dorothy - posted on 01/29/2010

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You are not only grieving for your loss of your grandchild, but you are grieving for your your daughters loss of a child. This is a double loss which makes it twice the depth for you. You can try to be strong. There is a group Called Compassionate Friends, locate one in your area and attend a meeting a two. There are others there who have walked this path and can help you walk yours. When you have others to talk with that have experienced the same you will find talking is the best form of medication there is. I have been with the Compassionate Friends for 20 years after losing my daughter to a drunk driver. Since that time I have lost several family members and have found this group to be of great value to me. I do hope and pray that your family will heal from this tragic loss. If you would like me to locate a chapter in your are I can do that. depeterson@yourstarnet.net God Bless You and Yours

Bets - posted on 01/21/2010

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thank you Angela. It is helpful to talk with others that have suffered the same loss, and I feel the exact same way as you. I am not supposed to see my grandchild buried, they are our future. How can you bury your future?? I have had my moments of wanting to go with Riley, more so lately...(I think its because of the holidays, and the sadness) but I remembered that he isn't the only one who needs me. I realized at Christmas just how many people need me. I have 5 children, 3 children-in-law, and 10 grandkids, including Riley. that is a massive amount of people. I realized, finally, I am the Matriarch. Me. it was a powerful moment. I know I will see Riley again, but I think I am coming to terms with the fact I won't see him until my time here is done. Part of this realization I think, was the fact that Riley's mom told us a few weeks ago that she is expecting again...
she is happy, and I am happy for her, but I am not dealing with it well right now. I am sure I will with time, because it isn't the child's fault, and I will love him or her as much as I love the other grandchildren, but it is just painful now.

your comment of 'may the sun shine again' - that is really affecting me. It is so true. I will be saying this to myself every day. but instead of may the sun shine, I will be saying 'LET the sun shine again.

thank you so much Angela

Angela - posted on 01/21/2010

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hello.
Its been 3 years since i lost my granddaughter and i know the difficulty in havinging the room to greive your own loss when the loss for your own child seems to much more painful. Its not though. As a grandparent, i had the loss of Ashleigh but as a mum I had the loss of a part of my daughter that I well never get back. A piece of Michelle died that night too and life has never been the same. Its a double whammy for a Grandma. People have their own ideas about what is the right way to grieve and honestly, there is no right or wrong way. just acceptance that you are in grief and you need to allow yourself that right.
Ash died a few days before christmas and every year i would put on my armour to be strong for Michelle, knowing it would be hard for her but this year, she was able to get on with the business of doing christmas for the other children and she truely was ok...i fell apart.
Mum stuff again. its like when our children are little and we handle the crisis untill there is room. Mich gave me room this year and i cryed and cryed.
It truely is a strange thing. we expect to bury our parents but not our children and especially not our grandchildren.
It will take its own course but you are doing well just to write it here and allow us others to share your pain. I will pray for you, your children and other grand son for some peace in this aweful time.

May the sunshine again :-)

Bets - posted on 01/18/2010

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thank you everyone. This Christmas was terrible. We all cried. It was very hard to be here celebrating, and he wasn't here with us. I appreciate all of your comments.

My daughter gave me the most wonderful gift, although it was painful to recieve. She gave me an 8 x 10 photo of my favorite snapshot of Riley. She had the photo blown up to the 8x10 size and put it in a frame, and gave it to me for Christmas. Although it did hurt to see it, and realize again that it was the only way we would ever see him again, I wouldn't trade that photo for anything else in this world.

Marguerite - posted on 01/08/2010

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I am so sorry and cannot begin to imagine how you must feel. I too wish I were there to hug and hold you. I have six grandchildren, five of them are boys between four and six years old. I cannot imagine losing one of my children much less one of my grandchildren. No one seems to want to say it, but I do... Cry with your daughter, tell her the pain that you feel for her. Tell her that the last thing you ever wanted her to experience is this. By being strong and holding out your feelings you are distancing her from you. She may need lots of shared crying times over the years to come. Believe me you will still be strong for her.

My mother-in-law lost her daughter when she was eight, that was in 1972. She still cries and I sometimes cry with her even though I never knew my sister-in-law.

God Bless you and keep you and yours' in the New Year.

Patricia - posted on 01/06/2010

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I cannot say I know how you feel or how to get through it, my sister lost a granddaughter, and she took very hard. Find a support group or good friend were you can talk about you and your feelings without having to worry about your daughters feelings. You have to take care of yourself or you wont be able to help your daughter and grandson. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Lindy - posted on 01/02/2010

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Betsy,
Hello. I know what your going through, I lost a 7 year old grandson almost 3 years ago. Its hard to support our children and greive ourselves. Some how God gets us all through it. It is life changing to say the least. Be glad for the time that you with him even though it was short, God has bigger plans for him now. Talk about him often and keep his memory alive. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Fran - posted on 12/11/2009

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Hi I have just started a website called Family tears for people to get support and just have someone to talk to who have gone through a similar experience. the website is familytears.webs.com
we have only been going a few days but please come and see what we are about
Fran

Joyce - posted on 12/04/2009

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Hi There:
A death of a Adult we can get over in time, but a child it could be a Daughter,Son, Grandchild or a Good Friend's Child. It is hard to greive but we has Grandparents can greive even though it is a Grandchild. So just be there for ur Daughter and other Grandson as a listening ear & a shoulder to lean on or a Hug. We all need TLC no matter what age.

Vicki - posted on 12/04/2009

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Yes, I have. I lost my 2 month old grand-daughter to Shaken Baby Syndrome. Her own father killed her. Strangely enough, it was exactly 1 year before you lost your grandson. I had to be there for my daughter from the day the baby went to the hospital all the way through the trial. I had to be strong for her, and still grieve for the loss. Best thing you can do for yourself and your daughter and grandson is therapy. Find someone and talk about it. Talk about it as much as possible. It helps. I hate to say it, but the holidays will be the hardest. That first Christmas is the worst, and there is no getting around it. Just know that you are NOT alone. People won't know what to say who haven't lived through it, other than those of us who have. I've been there and I know exactly the emotions you're going to go through. If you'd like, I'll send you my private e-mail.

Fran - posted on 12/03/2009

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Yes I am going through a similar situation at the moment. My grandson died after just 26hrs, in Feb 2009. My daughter has a 5yr old girl and I too am trying to grieve while being there to support them.

I believe that our grandchildren are a part of us, the grandparents, and we are suffer at a time like this as much as the parents. We suffer from what I call MUM SYNDROME' in short mums can fix anything and this is SOMETHING we can't FIX!!! And personally that drives me crazy and makes me feel like I am failing my daughter.

I can't offer you answers but I can help you by giving you someone to talk it over with as i am seeking the same thing.

[deleted account]

I have never been through any thing like that! And i dont think i would be able to handle it as good as you have. They say god does things for a reason but i think i would have to be put away. To me my grandchildren are just like mine and nothing anyone can say can change the way you feel. but find a nice quiet place and cry or scream.Just because we are grandmothers does mean were made of stone.

Frances - posted on 11/12/2009

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Have just lost my 27 yr old son and realise that the family need external support for a loss that they all have in common. Thats not 2 say they can't be there 4 one another, but you need external assistance as well.
Try to be understanding of family members who may be grieving differently. It's rare for any 2 people in a family to handle trauma the same way.
There are no rules for how one should grieve. Talk about your feelings and encourage others to do the same.
It's important 2 FEEL your feelings too. Whether they be sadness, rage,or whatever. Find a way 2 express them, perhaps through writing perhaps through sharing them with someone who understands.
Try 2 delay important decisions 4 a year. Moving house,changing jobs, remarrying ,deciding 2 have another baby, etc will create additional stress.
Look for grief counsellors in yr area. You don't have 2 handle this alone.
My heart is with you. Take loving care of yourself and family.

Bets - posted on 11/11/2009

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thanks, Rita. I just never thought something like this would be so hard. Its been a little over two months now. His birthday was November 7th, he would have been 6. That was a really, really bad day.

One thing I am doing is making memory quilts with all of his clothing. I am making one for my daughter, one for my son in law and one for my other grandson (Riley's brother). It takes my mind off of losing him, and focusing on something postitive. I will let you know how it works in the way of grief, though. Who knows? Maybe this is my way of avoiding it, I don't know. :)

I am so sorry to hear about your little granddaughter. How old was she when she passed? What is her name? Do you have any other grandchildren?

Sharon - posted on 10/29/2009

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Margaret's advice was very good! Besty you need to grieve over the loss of your grandson it's natural, don't spare the family your thoughts, your tears; you all need to grieve together. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Bets - posted on 10/13/2009

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Marilyn, I agree 100%. I know what you mean about being bitter. I have the same thing. I dread the holidays, but even worse, his 6th birthday is November 7th. that is going to be a very hard day, because it will only have been 2 months since the accident.

Bets - posted on 10/10/2009

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thanks, Marilyn.



Last night, for the first time, I cried myself to sleep. I had been talking to my daughter who is having a hard time with the pictures in HER head, and it just got too much for me. But I have to say, I felt good this morning. Not great, but a definite improvement.

Bets - posted on 10/06/2009

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thank you so much Margaret, Marilyn I am so sorry for your loss. The only sign of this problem was just the day before? How terrible! His parents must have felt so much guilt over that. How terrible for your family.



People say, if you need to talk, just call...but if you do, they get uncomfortable. The looks of shock on their faces, makes me keep my mouth shut. I don't mean to get graphic, I really don't. But when I talk about the accident, the picture I have in my head is of the way he looked in the ICU...I describe it, because I am trying to come to grips with it myself. I do appreciate everyone's comments. It really does help to know there are people here that I can talk to as well.

Margaret - posted on 10/01/2009

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Oh, my dear Betsy, I would so love to be with you to hold your hand, or give you a hug. It has ONLY been a month since your beloved Riley died, and you are probably still numb from the shock of the suddeness of it all. I am trying to imagine how I would feel, as I have a grandson just a bit older that your Riley, and he has the same first name.

Believe me, the tears and grieving will come, you need to allow that to happen. And it will come at the most unexpected time. You are not doing your Riley any disservice, there are no hard and fast rules to the grieving process, that happens in its own time. In fact, by seeking help, you are beginning the process now.

By allowing yourself to grieve, you are there for your daughter and grandson. You are shaing their grief, as your daiughter's mother, and your grandson's grandmother.

Riley will always have a special place in your heart, though you must leave room for the rest of your family

My love to you, God bless, Margaret

Bets - posted on 10/01/2009

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thank you. I feel I am doing my Riley a disservice by NOT grieving for him. But I don't know how to do it, and still be there for everyone else. Riley came along at a very important time in my life, and has always had a special place in my heart because of it. I never played favorites, but if I did, Riley would have been my favorite.

We are coming up on his one month anniversary. I can't believe its been a month. It feels like yesterday.

Margaret - posted on 09/30/2009

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I am so sorry for your loss. No one can imagine what you are going through, as each one of us must grieve in our own way, but grieve you must. Of course you want to be supportive of your daughter and 8 year old grandson, but not at the expense of your own grieving.

May I suggest that you share the tears, talk often about the child that is lost, include the 8 year old if he wishes, hold each other, make up a book of memories, such as photos, drawings, whatever the little boy was interested in. If you have a religious faith, ask your pastor to help. There are also support groups to help as well.

May God bless you and your family, and give you all comfort. You are in very early days, and this will take a long time to come to terms with.

Cordelia - posted on 09/28/2009

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hello Betsy I am so sorry for your loss, under such devastating circumstances. as a grandmother myself I can understand how you must be feeling. I hav'ent lost a grandchild, but I lost a child of my own 36yrs ago but you never forget. you are there for your daughter and your other grandson you will together help each other. we all grieve differently, at the moment you are trying to stay strong for your daughter,you are doing a wonderful job. you say you don't know how to grieve, that he was'ent your son, he was your grandson, but he was part of you, he was part of your family and still is in your memory. Being a grandmother and a mother is a difficult task but never forget it has it's own rewards, be gentle on yourself and with time your grieve will come. God bless

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