Grandparents / Extended Family
Grandmother: I'm inspired by them, very proud.
A grandmother of a little girl who died from Gaucher Type 2 talks about her pride in her daughter and son-in-law after their daughter’s death. “They’re capable. They get up in the morning.”
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Aunts and Uncles Reflect: When I think about Havi, I think about the purest laughter and joy and heart.
We all had imaginations about what it would mean to be an aunt and uncle; when we learned her diagnosis, it was a clarification of priority.
Extended Family: It’s been a lifeline to have each other.
Moving to be with our niece and her parents. (COVID made it easier to relocate). It wasn’t straightforward but it was clear.
There is not adequate grief support for aunts and uncles.
Extended Family: Grieving together but focusing on Havi’s parents.
Extended Family: Giving is living. This is a choice we’re making.
Sibling boundaries: Close as a unit but also tending to our respective marriages.
Aunts and Uncles: Showing emotions with each other and Havi’s parents
Some support tips for other aunts and uncles
Extended Family: Initiating support for and conversations about end-of-life
The Power of Ritual: “The Shabbirthday”
Engaging and also Protecting the (grand)parents
Bereavement: Leaving the pod
Being the Aunt: It wasn’t easy but I wanted to be there.
There’s no bereavement group for aunts: Double-duty grieving. I'm grieving for me but I'm also grieving what my sister has lost.
Navigating the grandparents: It’s an adjustment for them.
Delivering the diagnosis to her mother: “I wanted to control the blast because I was the epicenter.”
A grandmother on her daughter: “She said, ‘don’t cry in front of me, ever.”
My mother: "The biggest support she gave me was tracking me from afar."
“I was just a grandmother.”
Going to the affected families conference: "I needed my mom nearby."
“I learned you can’t take care of the future by planning.”
Mom to Grandma “I remember us talking about how you were stronger than I was giving you credit for.”
"I think we all work best when we don’t expect each other to change the core of who we are.”
A mom - "My mom initiated conversations about plans for arrangements after the death."
Mom and Grandmother: My mom had no opinion on my daughter’s medical care.
The other grandparents – “We were shared equals.”
Writing to process for both mom and grandmother: Observing the experience; Preserving the memories
Bringing my sister up to speed.
I couldn't imagine how much pain Sarah was in. I could only go along with it.
Most of my attention went to my daughter, not my granddaughter.
My concern was for them as a couple.
I did the little things that I could do, like watch Emerson so they could have a date.
I would keep it together until I talked to Mom. Then I'd fall apart.
I spoiled my granddaughter.
I think the hardest part is after she's gone.
I put my heart at rest that they don't have any regrets