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    Posted December 17, 2012 by
    slessman
    Location
    Marlin, Texas
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes

    We weep with you

     
    When I heard about the awful shooting my heart just broke for the parents. On that very day 7 years ago our little 11 month old grandbaby passed away. As a grandma I know the unbeleivable double pain of seeing my grandchild die and also watching my child suffer the most horrendous pain there is - and knowing I can't help them! My heart aches for you, Sandy Hook! I know the horrer of seeing a grandchild die but I can't imagine it happening as it did for all of you. Grandparents, know that you can help your children by simply walking through this with them. Here a a few things I learned along the way:

    Understand that you probably have never walked this journey - your child is going to have to be a guide for you. Don't be afraid to ask her if this or that hurts her more or helps her. You will need her to lead you in how to help.

    Talk to her everyday - maybe not for a long time. She will be exhausted with grief and probably not sleeping hardly at all for a while.

    Make sure she knows you are available - 2:00 in the morning is not inconvenient for her to call if she needs to talk.

    Do something to honor your grandchild - it will help you with your grief and will bless the parents. We came together as a family and made a big garden. Everyone brought plants and also gave money for our daughter to pick the plants she wanted. We also had her pick out some garden statues etc. We put a fountain in the garden. Summer, our daughter, said that her garden gave her such peace and she spent hours in it to think and talk to her baby.

    Don't worry if your child "talks" to her child during the next several months. They want to feel close to their baby and this is how some people do it.

    Speak of your grandchild often. The parents want to talk about their beautiful child.

    Count your grandchild along with the living ones. Just because she is not with you shouldn't discount her.

    Find a way to acknowledge your grandchild's birthday. This may be something you have to ask the parents to guide you in. We took my daughter and family out to eat at a really nice place and just spent some time talking about how Emma's life t6ouched all of us and changed us. Then we went shopping for some things for the garden.

    Pray for your child and remind them that her child is in heaven and will see her again - she is alive and this is only a separation.

    Realize that there will be a struggle with fear - If this can happen, then anything can happen. The world has been turned upside down.

    Do all that you can to relieve pressure - cook for your child, clean the house, take their other children on outings so your child can have some time.

    Be aware that something this intense is really hard on a marriage. Babysit the other kids to give your child and her spouse some time together. If possible, pay for them to go on a trip, a cruise etc. Relieve them of the other burdens in life as much as you can.

    Know that grieve is such a LONG process. Take one day at a time and be patient. Stay in it with them for the long haul.

    Encourage counseling, and even marriage counseling if needed, but don't insist. This pain is their own - they must deal with it as they need to personally.

    Send a card on your grandchild's birthday and also their heavenly birthday - just to say "I remember and I'm with you today."

    Take care of yourself. You, too, are grieving and still trying to hold up your child. Get counseling and help for your own self too.

    I hope some of these suggestions help you help your child and their family at this time. Know that our family in Waco, TX is praying so hard for all of you. Everyone is different and work through grief differently, but maybe even one suggestion will help you in some way. I know how unbeleivably hard it is to get through Christmas with a beautiful little one missing. The death of your beautiful children have also affected our family's Christmas this year. It cannot be as happy or light with what I know you are going through. Please know that we are praying for you.

    Sherri Lessman
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