Dear @slevis1, welcome to the forums. Thank you for sharing your story. Our hearts go out to you – it sounds like you’re experiencing real heartache as a result of the loss of relationships with two of your children.
It might help you to feel less alone in your experience by knowing that Griefline receives many calls from people like you – struggling to cope with the grief caused by estranged relationships. Parental divorce is often a key driver. And missing out on milestones in your son and daughter’s lives must be particularly painful.
What you are experiencing is an ambiguous loss. As a living loss it results in a lack of clarity and closure which can be very debilitating. The occasional glimpses into your estranged children’s lives or morsels of contact can leave you in a perpetual cycle of hurt and confusion, with moments of hope swallowed by frustration and anger. It can be a really hard road to travel. We are so glad you have reached out to the forums for some support and understanding.
Sometimes, when your grief feels overwhelming it can be helpful to focus in on what’s good in your life such as the connection you have with your other son and daughter. And to recognise the strengths you have called on over the years to nurture and maintain these relationships. Your love and persistence to send cards and your bravery to make the hard decisions you had to make are some of the strengths you can call on to get you through this grief.
Some other tips on coping with estrangement are;
• seeking the support of others who understand your estrangement distress,
• treasuring the close relationships you do have,
• and talking with a therapist if your estrangement distress becomes unmanageable, or you need advice on steps towards reconciliation.
We’d also like to refer you to our info page on relationship loss here on our resource hub for some additional info on this type of loss.
Perhaps others in our community can suggest more ways to cope. We are glad you are part of the community @slevis1. Keep in touch. We are here for you. 🌸