How can I help my grandson.?

We have one grandson, who is 30 years old. My husband died 12 weeks ago, quite suddenly, although he hadn’t been well for some time. We are all shattered and grieving very deeply, I am very worried about our grandson. he and my husband had a very special relationship, and he just can’t talk about him, the poor lad cannot bear to mention him even. When Kieron was a little boy, we doted on him, he stayed with us such a lot and Stan introduced him to a wonderful book called the
“Old Man and the Boy”, it is a true story and tells of the boy being so very close to his granddad, set in North Carolina, it is wonderful. In every chapter, the old man teaches the boy how to appreciate nature and there is a lesson to be learned, even though the boy does not realise it. The author is Robert Ruack (sp), from our Kieron being five years old, Stan would read him a chapter every night that he stayed with us. We took him on holiday and it was a joy, by this time, Stan had retired early from his job as a college lecturer. He would always address his granddad as “the old man” and sign himself as “the boy”. Since Stan passed away (something I had been dreading for Kieron’s sake, as well as myself and our 2 children) he just cannot bear to mention his granddad, and he appears to be sinking into deep depression. I know he thinks the world of his family, he has a lovely partner and beautiful son, he is doing well at his job, he graduated in Classics at Cambridge University, yet it is as if he has a huge block of ice inside him that just won’t thaw. I feel that if he had a really good cry, it would do him the world of good. I am sorry to put this on to your shoulders, but after talking to our daughter this evening, I am worried about him. God only knows that we are all devastated by our loss, but I would do anything to help him, would I be classed as an interfering? grandma if I tried. Thank you for reading this post. Love and Blessings MaryL
ps. I am not taking our Lord’s name in vain, another clue is that K told Stan that he had never read the final chapter of this book, because this featured “the old man dying”

Hi. MaryL.
You have a double burden to cope with. I’m so sorry for your recent loss. No doubt those words have been said before, but they mean something here because we all know. It often happens during the initial stages of grief that we go into ‘denial’. We can’t believe that such an awful thing has happened so the emotional part of the brain shuts down to prevent emotions causing harm. This stage does pass, but not always and not easily.
Has your grandson seen his GP? If not it’s essential he does. Doctors deal with grief on a daily basis and can suggest various organisations that can help. Depression needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The ‘block of ice’ describes locked up emotions so well. It can be thawed with patience and love. But it also can take a lot of time.
You also have your own grief, and I admire your obvious concern for your grandson in the midst of your own pain.
I don’t think you would ever be described as interfering. He is your grandson after all, and your obvious concern is great. Is it possible to talk to him even though he may refuse at first? The ice must be broken somehow. Counselling may help, and it’s an option that can be so beneficial. But persuading him to go may be difficult.
Your remarks about the book and his association on ‘the old man dying’ would be in his mind like some sort of prophesy come true. The mind, when in grief, can’t think logically. Others must help to do our thinking for us, and that’s where good friends who know or bereavement counsellors can be such a help.
It’s so short a time since your husband died. Time must be allowed to pass as difficult as it is. Can his partner help? He needs to talk this out, to release those pent up emotions. As you rightly say, a good cry could be so beneficial.
Now take care of yourself as well as others. You are in grief too.

Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for your wise and caring reply, I do appreciate it. It would be easier if our children lived nearer. Both of them live approximately 70 miles away, in opposite directions our grandson even further, I have been invited to spend Christmas with our grandson and his partner. Maybe I shall get the opportunity to have a chat with him, but is Christmas the right time to mention something so very painful to all of us. As for me, I live alone, our children have been marvellous in their caring for me,we are all supporting each other, in the darkest time that we have ever known. Blessings,

Hi, my husband had four children. The youngest 21 next month. She has been struggling to talk about her dad and has found it too hard to talk to me despite us having a previously good relationship. I’m not her mum but have been with her dad since she was 7. She has begin bereavement counselling and she tells me it helps…it sounds like your grandson needs some support with his grief…maybe suggest he signs up on here and tries some on line counselling x

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