Chapter 2: Impact of your grandparent’s death on you

Your unique relationship

I've been there
Claire shares about what her Grampy means to her.(3:22)Video transcript

When I was about six, he came to my birthday party. I was his favourite granddaughter; I was his favourite little princess. I still am.

Who they were to you

Because your relationship with your grandparent is unique to you, only you can fully understand the meaning of your loss. Click the switch button below to view some different examples.

If you were close If you were not close 

They may have been a much loved, grey-haired, kind, wise, loving, storyteller who secretly gave you forbidden treats, cooked delicious meals, or always knew how to comfort you.

They may have been your “rock” or the solid foundation in your family.

They may have lived with you while you were growing up.


You may have had limited or no contact with your grandparent.

They may have lived far away.

There may have been conflict or estrangement in your family.



Secondary losses

Over time, you may realize that your grandparent’s death has meant additional or “secondary” losses. Very often, these are connected to the roles you played in each other’s lives. For example, your grandparent may have been the only person who could beat you at Scrabble, help when the gravy would not thicken, or understand your sense of humour. Perhaps only they knew certain details of your life or your family history.


What may help

By taking time to acknowledge your losses, you can honour your grandparent’s memory and carry forward part of who they were in your life.

Keep in mind that your relationship with your grandparent was unique; for that reason, your grief may seem different than someone else’s. Try not to compare your grief with anyone else’s.