by Sheri McGregor, M.A.
It’s a question I hear often after an adult child’s estrangement. Among the more than 9,000 mothers who have answered my survey for parents of estranged adult children, or reached out in site comments or in emails, hundreds ask the same or a similar question.
Even the busiest mothers go out of their way for their adult children. Sometimes, mothers even say their lives revolved around them, as if they’ve been on-call.
For some, the question has layers of complexity that make the situation even more heartbreaking. Like when grandchildren are involved, which makes the loss even more cruel and sad.
Grandmothers picture the sweet, innocent faces of the grandchildren their estranged son or daughter has ripped away, and worry what awful picture is being painted about them. That they’re crazy? Or worse, that they don’t care? Those women may ask, if I’m no longer the devoted grandmother, always there and ready to help, then who am I?
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