My grandmother has been dead for 38 years, but she is still very much with me. It’s not that I didn’t feel the loss but rather that I felt – and continue to feel – enormous gratitude. She is as real to me today as she was when she was alive.
This resource has been designed to help you understand and care for yourself as you grieve. It was developed by the Canadian Virtual Hospice in collaboration with national grief specialists and people who have grieved the death of a grandparent. We are grateful to those who shared their wisdom and experiences.
About this resource: When your grandparent has died
The death of your grandparent may be your first experience with death, or it may be one of many. You may have been expecting it, or it may have happened suddenly. Your grandparent may have been like a parent to you, or you may have rarely seen them. You may be experiencing a range of thoughts and feelings that can change as time passes.
Your relationship, like that of everyone else in your
family, will be somewhat unique, and so will be your grief. By identifying the
particular circumstances and factors that are impacting your grief, you will be
better able to come to terms with your loss and find ways to carry the memory of
your grandparent forward in your life.
We recommend that you review the nine Grief Basics modules found on our MyGrief.ca site:
As you read through this information…
You might be reading this shortly after your grandparent died, or sometime down the road. We encourage you to revisit these resources often as you may only be able to absorb so much at any one time. What you find helpful may change over time. You might recognize your experiences or find that some of them aren’t reflected here. If there is content you believe should be added, please tell us about it in the survey at the end.
As you read this, you may have strong emotions or feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to step away from it for a while, or it might help to talk with a trusted family member or friend. Canadian Virtual Hospice provides online Discussion Forums where you can connect with others who may have experienced similar losses. You can also ask our healthcare team a confidential question at Ask a Professional. You will receive a written response within three business days (not including Canadian statutory holidays).
Note: If you have been raised by one or more of
your grandparents, or if your grandparent took on the role of “parent” to you,
either formally or informally, you may find it helpful to view the following
module: When your parent has died (coming