Chapter 3: Impact of the death on family relationships

Your parents

I was very close to my maternal grandmother, who lived with us for many years. My mother regularly told us that she hated her mother and would shed no tears when she died.

I think it was very comforting to my father to know how much his father meant to all of us. There was a feeling of continuity in our family.

The relationships that your parents had with your grandparent, as well as your relationship with your parents, will have an impact on your grief and theirs. You and your parents may be able to support one another at this time, or it may be that you will need to find support elsewhere.

The death of your grandparent may lead you to think about or imagine what it will be like for you when your parents die. At the same time, you may want to support your parents in their grief.

Sometimes a parent will try to keep their grief to themselves because they want to “protect” you. Perhaps you feel that you should protect them from your grief.


If you feel that you should protect your parent from your grief or that your parent is trying to protect you, you may both find it helpful to find a way to express your thoughts and feelings to one another. This can prevent misunderstandings and create ways for you to support one another.