We lost three of our five grandchildren

by Jack

My wife and I have two beautiful daughters, and God gifted us with five wonderful grandchildren. Four of these children belonged to our older daughter, and the other beautiful little boy belongs to our younger daughter.

9 years ago, our older daughter lost custody of her first-born son. He was 2 at the time. She went on to give birth to three more children. Her second child is a beautiful, energetic girl. Her third child, with whom I have most bonded (I hate to admit to favoritism) is a special-needs child. As such, he cannot communicate as well as the others, but he and I share(d) such a close bond. We share a love of singing and laughing, which drew us very close very fast. Her fourth child is a gifted, beautiful little girl.

I never really got to know our youngest granddaughter very well, as they lived in a different state from my wife and me.

Our older daughter's first son was adopted by my wife's aunt. The two girls have been adopted out to separate homes. Our special-needs grandson has been placed in a group home. His grandmother and I attempted to gain custody of all our "kidlets", as we call them, but we were turned down, due to medical issues we have.

In time, my wife and I were granted the special privilege of meeting our at-that-time 8 year old grandson again...the one who was adopted by our aunt. This has been a special blessing, and I'm grateful to God for giving us this chance to know our oldest grandchild. We also are in touch with our youngest grandson, who is our younger daughter's only child. For these favors, I am grateful.

The grief comes in for our middle grandson, mainly. While I grieve the loss of our two beloved granddaughters, I have hope that they can find happiness in their new homes. I also have hope that the older granddaughter will remember us, since she was 7 the last time we were allowed to speak to her.

As for our middle grandson....

The pain comes and goes. When it arrives again, I don't know if I'm capable of explaining what I feel. Both my wife and I have shed many tears for our babies. The way I always felt (and still do), these children were given to us by God. It feels as if part of my heart has been cut out. When the pain comes, it totally overwhelms me. I wonder if he thinks we didn't care about him. I wonder what he thinks of his current situation. I wonder if he feels abandoned. And I think of all the wonderful times we shared together, which hurts and helps all at the same time. I miss my grandchildren so very badly, and it hurts so much not knowing if I will ever get to meet them again.

This burden of grief feels too heavy to bear sometimes. It causes unexpected emotions, as well. Sometimes I feel so angry at our daughter for losing them that I want to punish her somehow. Being a father, I cannot bring myself to fully share my pain with her. I know it is worse for her, and I feel it is my duty, as her father, to be supportive, not destructive. It is an awful position to be in, knowing that my own child's actions, or sometimes a lack thereof, is the reason I have lost my grandchildren. She is my daughter, and I love her so much.

I feel cheated. It seems so terribly unfair that we did not do anything wrong, but they were taken away from us, anyway! My wife and I have our up times and our down times. We are comfortable with talking it through with each other, so our occasional crying jags do not embarrass us. I feel so bad for my wife, who bonded more closely with our older granddaughter. She misses her so badly. Please don't misunderstand me, we miss ALL THREE of them. We LOVE all three of them with all our hearts.

I wish I could talk to them. I yearn to hear my grandchildrens' voices again. I remember the staccato style in which our older granddaughter would ask me to speak to her grandmother. I remember hearing them all tell me they loved me. I remember singing with my precious grandson, taking such joy that he also loved singing as much as I do.

Life is just not the same, but I try to focus on the joy our other two grandsons bring to our lives.

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