No Regrets

I talk a great deal about grandparents learning to self protect, and I know how hard that can be.

The reason it is vital is for our own mental and physical health,  when we are enveloped by the grief of losing our grandchildren we risk falling down a black spiral of despair.

There are so many emotions that go hand in hand with this loss, one is a deep feeling of regret.

The regret of not being part of our grandchildren lives, of not being able to share all those magic moments of growing up can cause so much distress.

Many of you will be aware of Mindfulness, for those of you who are not, it is all about being present in this moment, of being aware of the here and now, it may sound trivial but we all find ourselves with our minds racing and darting from one thing to another, we lose touch with ourselves, we become entrapped in things that have happened in the past or will happen in the future. That causes anxiety in itself.

Mindfulness takes practice, you have to keep at it.

We all have the ability to be mindful.

Time is precious and we have to grab every minute of everyday, be thankful for the good things we all have in our lives.

Of course it doesn’t mean we all of a sudden, can let go of our loss, but we can learn to live aside of it.

Many grandparents talk about the huge regrets they feel, and I understand that, but living with regrets is not helpful, I lost 11 years of my granddaughters life, and I could fill my mind with those regrets but I want to work hard to continue  building a brand new relationship with her, not waste my time with regretting the past.

Regrets can be so destructive.

The past is just that, it has been and gone, none of us can undo the past.

What we have to focus on is now.

To be mindful allows us to be the best human beings we can possibly be. We can become totally aware  and caring of everything around us, life can become less stressful as a result and we can build resilience.

Please don’t think that in any way I am being dismissive of the deep deep hurt you all feel, nothing could be further from the truth, it is because I absolutely do understand that my concern is for your health and well-being, and hope that in some small way I can give you strategies for you to try.

Some time ago I asked grandparents the question, what makes you happy? and I put together 100 of their ideas:

100 ways to happiness.

  1. Gardening
  2. Sewing
  3. A cup of Yorkshire tea.
  4. Newly baked bread.
  5. Kneading bread.
  6. The happiness of my family.
  7. Sharing a smile.
  8. Baking.
  9. Flower arranging
  10. Painting.
  11. Sunshine.
  12. The sound of the sea.
  13. A walk in the hills.
  14. Playing tennis with friends.
  15. Hugs.
  16. Winning Scrabble!
  17. The smell of garlic cooking and a glass of red wine.
  18. Being outside, in the garden or woodland.
  19. The sound of children laughing.
  20. Singing in a choir.
  21. Sitting the sun reading a good book.
  22. Looking up at a clear dark blue sky when the stars are coming out.
  23. Sitting the garden with my husband and a bottle wine enjoying the outside.
  24. Seeing my grandson on Facetime.
  25. Feeling the warmth of the sun.
  26. The magic of my grandson’s smile when I pick him up from school.
  27. Being in The Lake District.
  28. Not reading the papers.
  29. Photography.
  30. Walking out in nature.
  31. Red wine, football, walking, music.
  32. Holidays.
  33. Craft.
  34. The beauty of nature.
  35. My dog.
  36. Watching my little dog skipping around the field with her tail wagging in the early morning.
  37. Volunteering.
  38. Lunch with friends.
  39. Get togethers with family.
  40. Eating sea food.
  41. Relaxing with a glass of wine.
  42. Watching a good movie.
  43. Travelling.
  44. A good nights sleep.
  45. Noticing the beauty of nature around me.
  46. Relaxing and chatting in the sunshine with my family.
  47. Family, friends and cats.
  48. All those I love being well and happy.
  49. My grandchildren’s arms around my neck with a firmly planted kiss on my cheek.
  50. A wildlife documentary in HD.
  51. Climbing to the top Richmond and Bolton Castles.
  52. Faith.
  53. Chocolate cake.
  54. Family altogether.
  55. Putting out the washing on a lovely day in bare feet.
  56. Getting into bed with fresh clean bed linen.
  57. Listening to classical music.
  58. Knitting.
  59. Be kind.
  60. Don’t judge.
  61. Forgive.
  62. Playing the Glad game, like Pollyanna.
  63. Knowing I am loved.
  64. Sharing my love.
  65. Blackberrying
  66. Cocoa
  67. Having my daughter home if only for a week from her travels.
  68. Contentment.
  69. When I am in the company of children.
  70. Feeding the ducks.
  71. A trip to Paris.
  72. Smiles on my grandchildren’s faces.
  73. Seeing my husband feeling well for a while.
  74. Finding my way on a OS map where stiles and footpaths are not obstructed.
  75. Staying in a warm cosy house when it is cold and icy outside.
  76. Being cosy in bed when the rain is lashing on windows.
  77. A G&T after work is done.
  78. Waking up fit and well every morning.
  79. Waking from a dream where I have been with passed members of my family.
  80. Getting home after being away.
  81. Finishing a dreaded task.
  82. Sharing in other peoples joy.
  83. Cuddling my cat.
  84. The fragrance of Jasmine, Geranium, Bergamot and Rosemary.
  85. Hill Walking.
  86. The delight of conker collecting.
  87. The smell of Autumn.
  88. Knowing my children are happy and healthy.
  89. Ice-cream.
  90. Listening to The Archers on the radio.
  91. Planning a holiday.
  92. A silky pillowcase newly ironed.
  93. The smell of a new book.
  94. Crispy bacon and English cup of tea.
  95. First coffee of the day.
  96. Hot toddy on a cold Winters night.
  97. The smell in the air after the rain.
  98. Watching thunderstorms.
  99. To delight in being silly.
  100. The smell of sweet peas.
  101. Happiness that surprises bring.

As you can see there is a wide range of things that we all think about.

Although we may be feeling in utter despair, please remember you also are allowed to be happy and to enjoy so much about your lives.










About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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