I don’t feel like I have the authentic grandparent experience… 71



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Yesterday I saw a news article about Kim Ledger, the late actor Heath Ledger’s father. He was talking about his son and his non-profit foundation, and it was all very touching. But one thing that really struck home for me were the comments about his granddaughter, little Matilda.

Matilda is 9 years old and is the only grandchild of Kim and his wife Sally. He said he speaks to her on Skype a little bit and visits her when he can, and that just made me feel so sad. Not only because this man and his wife cannot see their beloved granddaughter, but because I too have grandchildren that live so far away.

The son lives with his wife Marcella and my two grandchildren in Madrid, his wife’s home city. It’s a beautiful city but if you look on a map…Spain is about the furtherest place away from Australia. My heart aches when I speak to them on Skype, and I’ve only had a chance to see little Sam and Anna twice so sometimes I wonder if they even know who I am.

I wonder if there are other grandparents out there who have very rare contact with their grandchildren like me. I feel like I am missing a part of my heart not having them here and I know that’s selfish but I get sad when I see those grandparents at the shops with their little grandies.

Sure, Spain is an excuse to go on a holiday but I’ve recently had hip surgery and don’t feel up to travelling for at least another few months. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be a hands-on grandparent, and I certainly won’t be close to Sam and Anna. They’ll grow up and know I exist but not have those happy memories I had of my own grandparents. Their maternal grandfather is still alive but sadly, their grandmother died when Marcella was born. They love their Abuelo and send me many photos of them all together.


Do you have a similar situation? How do you keep in contact so you can feel like a part of your grandchildren’s lives? I’d love to know.

Guest Contributor

  1. Happens too often now in this “world ” generation

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  2. I feel your pain, I saw loads of my granddaughters and was very close to them, until my daughter got a posting overseas for a few years, we visited at Christmas, it was nice, but not as good as when they were home, I can see them slipping away now, nice fun life that they have, Skype is good, better than nothing, but it’s not as good as in person, and I miss them so much. Can’t visit much because of the expense and the journey , how do you all cope ?

  3. We have 4 grandchildren, 2 close by and 2 over 12 hours drive away. I always feel so torn and wish I could live close to all of them. My dream would be for us all to live close to each other, though I know that will probably never happen.

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  4. I have one child, a son, who now has a son himself aged 4 months, but we are in the same situation. They live overseas and we know we will never be hands on grandparents and will miss out on so much, but we hope that our beautiful grandson will always know that we love him and will be there for him if he ever needs us to be. It brings me some peace to know that he has a loving family and is looked after beautifully.

  5. I have 8 lovely grandchildren , 6 who live very close to us in Auckland and 2 who live in Sydney who we see 2/3 times a year but would so love them here too .. Selfish really when I hear about others who are not so lucky

  6. We have 2 very beautiful young grandsons, who we see very rarely, my daughters choice as she does not anything to do with us even though her father is quite Ill, we miss our grandsons dreadfully, in fact I am crying writing this, we have tried to mend things but to no avail, we miss our grandsons so so much

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  7. I have 3 grandchildren – 2 who live with me and a 3 month old who lives in Canada (but she’s here in Australia at the moment as her parents came over for my daughter’s wedding).
    I am blessed to experience my 2 oldest grandchildren growing up and it breaks my heart to know I will not experience that with my newest Canadian granddaughter. But, thankfully, communication technology is now better than it’s ever been – and I will just have to be content with that!!! Love all my grandchildren.

  8. I have my only grand daughter living overseas with her parents. It makes my heart ache but she didn’t go until she was older so I spent many happy years with her I do have four gorgeous grandsons nearby however.

  9. I also relate to your post. My son, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter live in Denmark. My grand-daughter was adopted at 2 years, and is now almost 5, but we still don’t really know each other. They have visited Australia once, but we only had short visits together and she was still settling in. We skype, but she is often distracted and wanting to play. We travel to Denmark every couple of years and stay for the max 90 days allowed. We don’t live with them but do home exchange, which allows us to share ‘normal’ family activities such as invites to dinner, after kindy playtime, cooking, and a holiday away together. We are heading off again in June this year. I am looking forward to spending lots of time getting to know each other and building our ‘heart’ connection.

  10. THat’s why I love Facebook and Facetime – I can see my grandchildren and greatgrandchildren – I have about 40 in all – and know what they are doing. but it would be great to hug them more often. I lived in Qld and my grandmothers were in WA and NSW – i only saw them a few times but I have pleasant memories of them

  11. one of my grandchildren lives a couple hours away, but when I ring to talk to her, she’s doing homework! But I love FB because I get to see what my sons and numerous nieces and nephews, also gnieces and gnephews are up to.

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