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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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Losing a grandparent - January 23rd 2016, 02:03 AM

My grandpa is in the hospital and he's really sick. It's really bad and I'm going to see him and my grandma. My family lives all over the country, so I'll be alone. I am going to try to help them, like offer to go to their house and get them new clothes or clean or buy them food and cook it for when (ok, if) they go home. But I don't know what to say, I'm afraid I'll cry in front of them (I've already cried a bunch) and make them feel worse/more stressed and I don't want to pretend like nothing is wrong but I also don't want to run in screaming about the elephant in the room. I don't know if there is a right thing to say or do though.

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 23rd 2016, 02:35 AM

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this I've been through it 3 times, but I never had to do it alone. There is no right or wrong way to react. If you don't want to cry in front of them, you can excuse yourself for a few minutes; I'm sure they understand that it's hard on you too. If you want to offer help, it might be best to just ask "Is there anything you need?" or "If you need anything, let me know." If you don't think they'd accept help, but you know something they definitely need, you can just do it.

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 23rd 2016, 03:59 AM

I'm really sorry to hear about this, it must be tough having to be alone during this time. But I agree with what was said above. There's no right or wrong way to react because everyone deals with things differently. Maybe you can excuse yourself to the bathroom or take a short walk. It might help to find a comfort item to hang on to while you're struggling, like a picture or a stuffed animal to hug. I think your presence alone will mean so much to your grandparents and I know they'll appreciate it. I think any gesture, small or large, will be helpful.

Just remember to take care of yourself, too. Don't neglect yourself through all of this.

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 23rd 2016, 06:46 PM

Everyone certainly reacts to these situations in different ways. Crying is okay. And don't be ashamed of that or feel bad for it. It's you showing your emotions and letting them out and that's okay. I agree with cassie that maybe finding something comforting in this time would be helpful and you definitely need to remember to look after yourself in this too. Don't neglect yourself Okay? And remember we're always here to talk to anytime. So don't be alone.

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 24th 2016, 02:46 PM

Thanks to all three of you. Your words were very helpful and have mad me feel a lot better

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 25th 2016, 12:07 PM

I've been through a similar situation when my granddad was ill. It's awful, and incredibly painful. There's nothing wrong with crying, but depending on how you feel your grandparents will feel, it can be better to excuse yourself. I know just before my granddad died me and my mum cried a lot but we made sure it wasn't when we were with him because he was the kind of person who didn't like that kind of thing.

Offering to help is brilliant, and I'm sure your grandparents will appreciate that.

If you need to talk about anything feel free to PM me, as it's something I've gone through personally.

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Re: Losing a grandparent - January 27th 2016, 10:22 PM


I'm sorry you have to go through this. I know how hard it is to have a family member in this kind of position, especially when you're trying to strike a balance between being helpful and taking care of yourself. Hopefully my advice will help a little bit.

One thing to remember is that even if you're physically alone, you don't have to feel like you're alone. Yes, your family's all over the country, but they're still your family. If you're close enough to them, you could think about calling them or even Skyping or something like that, so you feel less alone in this.

I think it's wonderful that you want to help your grandparents during this. Like the others have said, you could either ask them what they need, or just do little things you think they might appreciate. But also remember that it's okay just to be there, without feeling pressured to be doing something. One thing I've learned in the past couple of years is that although it's great to offer to help and try to keep busy, it can be equally as helpful to just be there for someone.

It's okay to cry, as I'm sure you know. If you don't want to cry in front of your grandparents you can always excuse yourself and be alone for a while. I'm sure your grandparents don't expect you to be strong and stoic and silent throughout this, so they'll understand if you need some time to yourself. Be aware of your emotional state and take breaks when you need; this is going to be an emotionally exhausting time and you really do need to take care of yourself.

As for what to say, I would take your cues from them. If they want to talk about other things, then that's okay; if they want to talk about what's going on, that's okay too. You don't have to pretend everything's okay, but you don't necessarily have to talk about the things that aren't okay either. There's no real right or wrong way to act in this situation, so I would suggest following their lead, going with what feels comfortable for you, and, above all, not pushing yourself too far.

I wish you all the best with this, and I hope it all turns out okay.

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