My first significant loss was my grandfather. It was his death that motivated me and guided me to work in healthcare, particularly in long-term care, where I'm very comfortable.
Your grandparent has likely been in your life for as long as you have lived. On some level, you may have believed that they would be with you forever. It’s natural to grieve their absence.
Your grief will be influenced by the relationship you had with your grandparent. Remember that this is unique to you. Other people in your family likely had different relationships and experiences with your grandparent, and their grief will reflect this. There will also be circumstances, such as the state of your grandparent’s health and the way that they died, that will affect your grief. Events and challenges in your own life may have affected your relationship and your grief.
While you are grieving, some of your thoughts and feelings may surprise you or be more intense than you expected. It’s important to spend some time with them to see what you can learn about yourself, your grandparent, and your relationship. Although your grandparent is no longer physically present, you can choose to carry parts of them forward with you in your life. What you learn can benefit your relationships with other people.
Grieving alone can be very difficult. Reach out to family and friends for support. If you’re not getting what you need, seek out local or online resources that can connect you with others who can understand and listen to you. Your family physician or a faith leader may also be helpful to you.
If your thoughts and feelings are causing difficulties in your life, look for a professional grief counsellor who can help you come to terms with your loss and find a way forward.