I’m 61 now and when mixing with people my own age there seems to be only one subject that comes up constantly and that is grandchildren. “Oh what a joy it is at our time of life spending time with our grandchildren” I hear, I see memes on Facebook about how grandchildren light up your life, I hear of new ones being born, of their achievements, I get showed photos on your phone, they are all around. It seems everyone has at least one apart from me.
Of course, people talk about other things, but I just seem to tune in when I hear the word and it still makes my heart sink as I am torn between being happy and interested and feeling a deep hole inside knowing I will never have any.
I know it is something I need to learn to deal with in a more positive way. I know I am just telling myself my sad story again – oh poor me, my son is dead…etc. etc. Lots of people don’t have grandchildren for lots of different reasons. They weren’t blessed with children, they chose not to have them, their son or daughter may be in a same sex relationship and chose not to procreate – there are hundred different reasons, mine just happens to be that my only child took his own life and I don’t have a partner or step-children.
I know it is unreasonable to expect people to be sensitive, but I do wonder if it enters their heads when they are crowing about their offspring’s offspring, that my heart is being pierced with pain hearing about their happiness. I don’t expect it does, nor should it, but it is just another side effect of my situation that needs a bit more work on my part so I can learn to be happy to share their wonderful stories and pictures, while gently acknowledging my loss but making peace with it.
I know better than to focus on what I don’t have as I have so much that is good in my life, but maybe next time you are showing your pics, just gently touch my hand to show you understand that your proud pictures may have triggered my deep sense of loss, or I could just show you my doggie pictures.