Saying goodbye to adult kids and grandkids can be very difficult, especially when grandchildren are babies. They grow incredibly fast, and each moment apart can be a heart wrenching reminder of milestones that might be missed. Grandparents of military babies have it especially rough. They can go months at a time without seeing their kids and grandkids. However, it is possible for grandparents to ease the pain of missing their military family by using positive hands-on methods.
The Pain of Separation
A very dear friend has a son in the United States Navy. We have been friends for almost 30 years, and her son played with my boys when they were very young. Although my kids did not end up joining the military, I can sympathize with her emotional plight. When my boys were young, I was separated from them for weeks at a time because of a long distance divorce.
The circumstances were vastly different in my situation, but I also had to find positive ways to ease the pain of missing my family. I missed my babies dearly, and after reading my friend’s post on Facebook, I wanted to provide a little advice that could help ease her pain as well as the emotional pain that is commonly experienced by other military parents and grandparents.
Immediately Begin Planning the Next Visit
Grandparents and parents should not say goodbye to their military family. Instead they must say so long, and to help easy the pain of missing their family, they should immediately begin planning the next visit. They need to take a proactive approach to the situation. Goodbyes are never easy, but they do not have to signify an ending. Saying so long for a few weeks or months gives military parents and grandparents time to plan the next visit. Look at it as a beginning instead of a temporary ending, and take notes to help ease the pain. Military parents and grandparents should keep an idea journal. They can use it to jot down all kinds of ideas that might otherwise end up forgotten before the next visit. Writing is a fantastic form of emotional therapy when missing military family members.
Grandparents and Parents Can Enjoy Compiling Gift Bags
Parents and grandparents that miss their military kids and grandkids can ease the pain by actively doing something to combat it. They can start compiling gift bags to take their minds off of missing kids and grandkids. Shopping and other activities are much more enjoyable when they will benefit family members in the military, especially if they are hundreds of miles away.
Working on scrapbooking and gift crafting are also great ways to ease the pain when missing military family members. They provide grandparents and parents with something positive to do while anticipating the next visit or holiday. Learn to crochet afghans that can wrap and warm your loved ones when you are not around to give them hugs. Decorate photo frames and create beautiful centerpieces for the family dining table. In any case, stay busy, and do not forget to do nice things for yourself in the process.
Source: Personal Experience with Missing Family and Coping with Temporary Loss