grandparent grief, Grieving Children, The Road Less Traveled


by Derek Davidson

My name is Derek Davidson and I attend *Bridging the Gap (BTG). I’m 11 years old and in the 6th grade at BT Wilson Middle School. I also play the drums.


BTG is a place to go and talk about family members that have died who were close to you.

grannie and derek

My Grannie died on August 2nd which is my Mom’s birthday. She lived with us for 10 years before she got sick. My Grannie was a big part of my life. She picked me up from school and we always did some kind of exploring or art work. She loved the great outdoors and animals. She loved it so much that she wanted to share it with everyone.

She always looked for neat rocks that she could put googley eyes on. Then when she had enough, she would go to the park and set them out and watch people’s reaction when they found them. She was neat!

with rocks

My Grannie worked at the Hill Country Youth Ranch for many years as a houseparent to many young girls. She was able to teach them many skills and values. I know she loved that job because she would tell me all about it. She was able (with the help of a worker) to build a huge fireplace with beautiful rocks that she and many of the kids found. She wanted all the kids to have a stocking to hang on the mantle for Christmas. She was a giver. I miss her very much!

grannie fireplace_1

*Bridging the Gap is a program sponsored by Peterson Hospice of Kerrville, TX for bereaved children and their parents.

Bereaved Parents, grandparent grief

On Angel Kisses ~ Blessings from Beyond

by Dusty Grein

The term Angel Kisses, is one that came to me from my infant grandson.

Four weeks after his passing he visited both his Mommy and me as we slept, and he gave us both a little inspiration. When I woke up, I sat down and recorded the most awesome dream I could ever remember having. Here is what I wrote that day:
The dream …

Our whole family had gathered for a reception after I delivered Eddy’s memorial eulogy. For some reason, we were holding it at a house that my father built with his own two hands, even though he hadn’t owned it for many years before he passed away. I remember the greatest feeling of warmth and pride coming from the house itself, and for some reason everyone thought this was a generations-old family home.

As I was working my way toward the kitchen (and the food, lol) I noticed that Bill, the funeral director from Mountain View, where the service had been held, was also there. This man is very tall, and somehow seemed almost elegant as he cut his way through the crowd toward me. I was surprised and pleased that he would be there to join us to celebrate Eddy’s wonderful shooting-star life. He smiled and said he couldn’t stay, but I dropped this at the funeral home – and he handed me a letter.

Large Memorial400

I looked down at the papers now in my hand, and saw the most beautiful handwriting, and while I don’t remember everything it said, I remember just enough … Here are the pieces I do remember, and I can see these lines so clearly, that I KNOW they were a message for us all:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,
Don’t cry all the time, okay? I’m still happy, and I do miss you so, so much, but it’s really nice here …

Grandpa Bill and Granny were here to meet me when I woke up, and I get to take turns sitting in their laps when I miss you and need a hug. Granny said to tell you they wouldn’t let her bring her wooden spoon here, and she winked, but I don’t get it …

I found out that I have more grandmas and grandpas than I could believe, but they all love me …
Tell my sisters and my big brother that I love them, and I get to spend a little time watching over them every day

Jesus is here, and I get to sing and play with all the other angels every day –and when we fall down here, our knees don’t get scabs, so it’s okay for me to be Trip, hahaha.

When I got here, I asked why everyone back there was so sad, when I got to spend time with them, and then come here … It’s so wonderful and fun here that they should be happy – but Jesus told me they were sad for themselves, since they don’t get to be here with me yet.

I told him that I didn’t want my Mommy and Daddy to be so sad, and he said that their sadness would be a little less each day, and that I could send a special angel-kiss to them when they were asleep to make it easier. I hope you feel my angel-kisses, I send them each night as you sleep …

I’ll be right here, watching over you each day, waiting with Jesus and Grandpa and Granny until you get here –

Your bug,
P.S. My real name is …

I had started crying and the last word was smeared and blotted out with a tear-drop (I think I wasn’t supposed to know that last word) … In fact, the letter was actually a couple of pages long, but I only wrote down the parts I could remember reading … I think he accidentally told me some secrets that I wasn’t supposed to know yet, so God only let me remember parts of his letter – but it felt so real, and was so comforting …

To this day, this dream, unlike most, remains vivid and clear in my memory …

That same morning, after a cup of coffee and some cereal, I fired up Facebook, and Heather, my daughter and Eddy’s mommy, had found and posted the following on her wall:

Mommy, please don’t cry… A beautiful Angel carried me here!
I met Jesus today mommy! He cradled me in his arms. He made me feel so happy inside.
Mommy, please don’t cry… Heaven is wonderful!
Did you know the streets are made of gold? Real gold!
I have lots of friends, mommy. We run and we play, we giggle and laugh.
I can’t wait to show you my secret hideouts!
Mommy, please don’t cry… When I fall it doesn’t hurt!
There are no tears in heaven.
I’ve met a man named Noah. He told me about his big boat.
All the animals, and the very first rainbow. Have you heard of Noah, mommy?
Mommy, please don’t cry… We have lots of parties here;
With streamers and hats, and the best chocolate cake ever!
When it’s time to rest angels tuck us in, I never get scared mommy.
There is no darkness here! Jesus is the light of heaven.
Mommy, please don’t cry… The angels are always singing. I love to sing with the angels! You’d be proud of me. I have a pretty good voice. I must have gotten it from you.
There is a river, mommy, in the most beautiful garden you could ever imagine…
And a huge tree with yummy fruit. The angels call it the tree of life.
Mommy, it’s so wonderful to be alive in heaven!
Mommy, please don’t cry… sometimes I just like to be by myself.
That’s when I think of you.
Someday mommy, we will hold each other tight! Then you will cradle me in your arms. And stroke my hair… And once again, our hearts will beat together.
Mommy, please don’t cry…
I’ll wait right here for you.

So much of this awesome poetic letter was so close to the letter I had received in my dream, that is gave me goosebumps, and I immediately created a Note on Facebook, where I could immortalize the gift I had been given, and I started keeping my senses aware for these kisses from heaven.

Angel Kisses Happen All The Time
I’ve since read a LOT of testimonials and personal stories about not only dream kisses, but other special signs and touching moments that are surely kisses from our loved ones who have passed. I now record as many of them as I can, like I did the visit from the butterfly at the top of the page.

Now, I know that butterflies abound in summer, and not everything is a ‘sign’ or an ‘angel kiss’ – but I had been thinking pretty hard about my little guy all night at work, and this is the very first time I’ve ever had a butterfly actually land on my bike, seem to say hello, then fly away… See, angel-kisses do happen all the time, if we just open our hearts…

The First One I Remember
As a young child, my lifelong companion was a little brown mixed breed dog named Smokey. She was the same age I was, and she adopted me before I could even walk. Smokey was my first best friend, and she slept with me every night. The day after my 8th birthday, she got hold of a raw salmon head, and ended up with salmon poisoning. We had to have her put to sleep … and it broke my heart.

When I was 13 years old, my great-grandmother passed away. Her death and funeral was the first time I remember losing a human family member, and the night she died I had a dream ….

In this dream, I was following my family in a slow walking line of mourners, and we were heading for the cemetery. Along the side of the road were a line of outhouses, and as we passed them, one of the doors opened and there stood Grandma Steiger! … She smiled at me, then put her finger to her lips, as if to let me know that it was a secret she was there. I was confused… I mean we were going to HER funeral! .. Then she grinned the sweetest grin at me, and as she started to walk away, she pointed to the grass next to her feet. There, walking alongside her, was Smokey – and I felt so comforted and warm, knowing that she was now gonna take care of my dog for me ….

I think that Grandma knew I needed some reassurance about life and our place in God’s plan after we pass on, so she sent me that angel-kiss in the best way that my 13 year-old mind could receive it – by associating her passing with the strongest symbol of loyalty, love and acceptance I had ever known … Smokey, my sweet, silly old dog.

Look For Them
If you are missing a loved one who is no longer with you, let them know that you love them, and then keep yourself open … we may not always get the signs we are hoping for … but if they are allowed. they will send you a kiss. It could be a snowflake, a raindrop, a gentle breeze – or even a dream that you may or may not be able to remember when you wake up.

Sandi and DustyIf you let yourself recognize when it happens, that warm glow of love inside will let you know that you too, have been kissed by your angel … and you have that promise,

About the Author: As a 49-year-old husband, father and grandfather, I offer a little different perspective on this terrible journey that we survivors of tragedy and sorrow must traverse. In June of 2011, my entire family was rocked by the sudden passing of my 13 week old grandson from SIDS. My wife and I have 5 children, 7 grandchildren and had been together for 32 years, but had never experienced this level of shock, sorrow and grief. We have always had the most wonderful bonds of love that tie us all together. This terrible tragedy was made easier to bear because we’ve always had each other for comfort and solace. Since that terrible day, I have donated my time and talents at image creation to create free-of-charge memorial images for grieving families. For more info, email Dusty at

In September 2012, I suffered a heart attack. Having survived my own brush with mortality, I decided to create a legacy for my children and grandchildren. My blog, From Grandpa’s Heart, has, since that time, reached people in over 17 countries around the world, and in it’s simple messages I hope to share inspiration, love and maybe a little of the wisdom I have gathered along this road I travel. May you all find comfort, peace and hope in your connections with those you love, and the others you meet who also know the pain and exhaustion that accompany this long road from grief to nostalgia … D

Bereaved Parents, grandparent grief

A Mother Never Forgets

by Julie Ann Smith

I remember the dates, times and places. It was a beautiful August 2nd morning, 2010. I was at our local hospital awaiting an ultrasound for my daughter’s follow-up for a urinary tract infection (UTI).

With not much of a selection in reading choices, I finally selected the most recent in publication, Good Housekeeping. I sat all cozy with my face buried into that month’s issue while waiting to join my daughter who had already been taken back into the room in preparation for the ultrasound. Within minutes, the nurse came out and called me back. As I found a place in the room to settle, I went back to reading the magazine. I was interrupted by my daughter saying, “Mom, hello? Did you hear what the technician said?” “I am sorry, no”, I replied. My daughter asked the technician to kindly repeat what he had said. Since this now involved my attention, I placed the Good Housekeeping magazine down and listened intently. The technician said once again, “and what number of pregnancy is this for you?” It still did not dawn on me until I saw the heartbeat on the monitor from across the room.

Continue reading “A Mother Never Forgets”

Bereaved Parents, grandparent grief

All Alone on the Roller Coaster Ride Called Grief (Grandmother’s Grief)

by Anna McClary

Anna McClary

My journey started on December 26, 1991, when my first grandson, Christopher Scott McClary, died at age 4 months 9 days of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Still today, those four words take my breath away. How does anyone express how a healthy, happy, and loving baby just stops breathing in their sleep?

The call came from my 20 year old son, Chris. He was at the hospital in the ER room. Christopher was not breathing. “Mom, you need to come”. No amount of time could ever prepare you to rush into an ER and find everyone in horror and shock. No one talked. No crying. Just a small room of two young parents shocked and full of fear that their baby was DEAD……. NO, this was not happening!!

Back up 24 hours earlier: It’s Christmas Day. Christopher’s first one with his parents, step brother, Matthew, proud grandparents, and two aunts and a great uncle. All opening up gifts and sharing a meal with this very special baby. He meant the world to me. For months, I had planned and waited for this baby. To spoil and love. I started sewing outfits that I tenderly picked out. I crocheted several blankets for a boy or girl. I was in the hospital the night he was born and heard his first cry. A boy. 8lbs 6oz, 21 inches long. A baby with all his fingers and toes. My heart flowed over with love and dreams of what he was going to bring to me and his family.

Continue reading “All Alone on the Roller Coaster Ride Called Grief (Grandmother’s Grief)”