Thursday, 29 May 2014

Divorce : Grandparents Hurt Too

You know those mornings, the ones where you are so very fortunate to be near a stretch of water so flat and is perfect... untouched by any such interaction from any human, animal or bird.  

And then a rock is unexpectedly sometimes dropped into this calm water. The effects of such a jolting disturbance reverberate and the shock wave ripples begin to travel from the impact site to their anointed destinations. The separation or divorce rock thrown into the ebb and flow of marital existence and the ramifications affect everyone within it. 

So we pretty much know that whether intentionally or not, this rock is going to start affecting all folks close to us dreamily cloud gazing in their life boats. Those boats that are gently bobbing about on the tranquil lake.  Here is the thing, for a while this water is going to be stormy, disturbed. There are some who will be touched, or those whose lives will be drenched with the very bothered water. It is the fallout, it is divorce. 

And one of those little boats may be carrying grandparents. 

So there in the middle of the lake is a life continuing piece of the family world that are grandparents.  Their children may be married or in a relationship, they may have grandchildren and all is well... then the rock drops....there is shock... of course there is.

These parents of ours, do they now, whilst trying to fathom out the uncertain depths of the disturbed stillness, do they question how well they knew their now adult children?  Did they see signs of the rock, held by the uncertain grip of together foreverness being dangled over the water? Would a little private truth and integrity chat with your children about their marriage before this have gone amiss?... Divorce affects everyone... we all know it does and it may be well to remember grandparents in this now stormy lake.
If you are fortunate to have loving and supportive grandparents there is shock involved, they have concerns for their children. Most of all they really want to know their very much loved grandchildren are going to be alright. They may be more mindful of their grandchildren than of you... they will be there for you, supporting you, but grandparents worry about the grandchildren .... a lot. 

Thoughts and decisions, for instance about what to do with the marital photos, the once happy family photos.  What do they choose to do?  Do they keep them for when the grandchildren stay and remind the children that they still love this family unit or do they slowly start taking them down? This hurts, the mantle piece has been systematically altered overnight. The future invitations to family gatherings has changed. It has all changed and it is all tinged with the shame monkeys skirting in their predatory way on the periphery.

The grandparents really don't want to acknowledge those fear monkeys who are giving them a little wave whilst they row furiously out to Grandparent Island ... Its too late to say "quick hide, the shaming fear monkeys wont find us". Why? Because the rest of the grandparent social and slightly competitive world will eek them out. 

We all understand the need for those inquiring, dreaded and difficult questions that head our way. Perhaps at social gatherings, within a church support network and with friends. It is all going to come bubbling up and out into the grandparent open. With the feeling of a little shame that one of their own is entering into the divorce family existence in all its unexpected, unknown with sad difference.  

Is there a sense of failure that rests with the grandparents?... Of course....When any of our life happiness grand plans goes ever so slightly awry we look a little closer at ourselves. We ask a few more searching questions and dig a little deeper. We all try very hard to make it all a little less painful, more positive and we begin to move on.  

With good, honest and true love, together with the kindness and respect that exists in all our good hearts and lives that we have for each other. Time once again becomes the life balm, the waters return to a soothing and once again calm.

With love Natasha

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  1. A lovely post. People so often forget about the grandparents and how they will be affected.

    1. I am so sorry I didnt reply to you... thank you for reading and posting such a supportive comment. I hope this helped in some way. Natasha

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. It's true, grandparents are affected by divorce. One way, is when their child gets divorced. Sadly, there is little to nothing that they can do to try and get access to see their children, if one of the parents does not allow it. They cannot try and stop them moving away, and there is a real chance they might just never see them. There are a few things that can be done though, such as mediation. Otherwise they will have to establish their strong connection to the child in court.

    1. Thank you for your comments and I am in total agreement that there are issues such as contact which are always of concern. I echo your comments regarding mediation. I have been through brilliant mediation in an otherwise tricky situation and I support mediation whole-heartedly. I am a case study and featured on ITV's Daybreak report, Channel 5 news and Sky News on the 22nd April when the mediation laws changed. Mediation can be a wonderful, positive and respectful place for divorcing couples and good that it is supported by Family Law firms. Thank you again for commenting. Natasha

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