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Forgotten grievers: an exploration of the grief experiences of bereaved grandparents (part 2)

Journal title
International journal of palliative nursing
Publication year
Gilrane-McGarry, U.; O. Grady T

The death of a child is a traumatic family life event. Although parental bereavement has received substantial attention, little research has focused on the grief experiences of bereaved grandparents. The aims of this Irish national study were to identify and describe the bereavement experiences of grandparents following the death of their grandchild and to explore their needs and supports throughout. A previous paper provided background to the study, covered the methods used in depth, and presented one of the three key findings: ‘cumulative pain’. The present paper discusses the remaining two findings: factors that facilitate and factors that inhibit the resolution of the cumulative pain. Several factors were perceived by the bereaved grandparents as being either helpful or unhelpful in easing the pain of their grief. Among these were acknowledgment of the deceased grandchild and the grandparents themselves, the relationship with the bereaved son or daughter, family dynamics, and support mechanisms.

Research abstracts