On the subject of grandchildren


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.

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2 Responses to On the subject of grandchildren

  1. Maggie Culpin says:

    My heart fills with empathy for you Ann, I too do not have grandchildren, even though I still have my younger son, it does not seem to be on the horizon. To be honest, as much as I would have liked the experience I do feel that the ship has sailed as me and my husband are well into our sixties so we wouldn’t have the privilege of seeing them grow up. Although my friends crow about having them in their life they also continually moan about how tiring it is to look after them. They say what you never have you never miss but that is not strictly true. Its a bit like childless couples who forever hear their friends talking endlessly about there wonderful children. I’m sorry but it does get a bit boring after a while. I probably bore my friends talking about my wonderful dog and 2 cats all the while. So Ann I really understand how insensitive your friends are being but I am sure it is not intentional.
    Love Maggie

  2. Karen says:

    I first learnt my eldest son was to have a child when he was 22! I sat down and cried because I could still remember bringing him home from hospital and I still had a 12 year old…. we all embraced little Roux on his arrival including Williams younger brother (17) and his sister Kaitlin (12).. Roux was lush and he was baptised in January 2016 at which his uncle Edwards (17) was one of his many godparents !, Edward was a deep thinking loving caring, gamesome,beautiful young man and growing into the man he was to be and I am so proud….Edward turned 18 on the 4th April 2016, he was an intense boy who gave his all to thinks he believed in and all he really wanted was a family of his own with a wife who loved him…..on June 20th evening his girlfriend dropped him… Edward went out and we discovered a note.. the police were call ! Dogs, helicopters etc were out….Edward was found dead the next morning…, I look at Roux now and know how good Edward would have been with him, I look at Roux and think how much he is the image of his uncle and his character is so similar but I also look at him and think of what his own children would have been like!,,
    Edward, has become my angel, to be honest he always was my favourite …
    I know that I have two other children and I should be very very grateful for that !! But I can’t, I just think of my lost… and that is becoming way to hard to cope with…

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