Grief Counseling Certification Program Blog on the Loss of a Grandparent

One of the first family losses a child experiences is the loss of a grandparent.  This loss has ripples throughout the family dynamic and resets many traditions.

First it is twofold.  It affects not only grandchild, but the parents as well who have lost their own parent.  A twofold grief that manifests itself on two generations can be difficult within a home as parents and children grieve the loss.   The intensity will depend on the bonds and closeness between individuals but for many losing a grandparent is a significant loss.  For some, a grandparent is like a parent.  Others they are nevertheless important figures in one’s raising and development.  Some play more key and active roles in their grandchildren’s daily life.  This will have an affect on the person and his or her loss.

Losing a grandparent is usually a person’s first serious meeting with death. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program


The death of a grandparent can occur very young or for those blessed, later in life.   The time, place and details surrounding the loss can all affect the loss as well.  One who loses a grandparent unexpectedly as opposed to over a long terminal illness will experience the loss differently.  Classically, most will experience a loss of a grandparent due to terminal illness and be around their teen to 20s, but for those who fall outside those parameters will all experience different types of reaction to loss.

Secondary losses and exposure to grief maybe for the first time manifest.  The person may have difficult process understanding loss and the shock it causes.  For many, close relatives were always immune to death and dying but suddenly, the death of a grandparent can shock a grandchild into understanding the reality of death.  This may come with difficulty especially since it is the first real experience with death.  Life will change because of this loss.  Family dinners, or holiday traditions will change.  This can be difficult to process especially when this is the first experience with death and the person has to come to grips with the change in life.

Grandparent bonds can be very strong for many. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


Death is very terrifying but it is part of life.  Losing a grandparent reminds individuals of the reality of death for the first time in many cases.  It teaches one how to grieve the loss of someone close and how grief feels throughout its many phases.  It is a great pain but also a teaching moment that will later prepare one for the death of parents, spouses and close friends.  Pain is part of this fallen world and it is sad that losses to those we love occur, but grandparents represent the usually the first loss in life that has real meaning.

If you would like to learn more about Grief Counseling Training and how to help others, then please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Grief Counselor.