Letter to grandparents at the time of the coronavirus

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Philippe Gloaguen
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In these difficult days of quarantine due to the contagion linked to Covid-19, all the families are at home and many grandchildren are far from their grandparents. For this reason we wanted to address a thought to all the grandparents of the country by reporting in this article a letter written by Prof. , doctor and psychotherapist of the developmental age, published a few days ago in the Family health magazine.



Here is the text of the letter, to tell the grandparents that loving them, in recent weeks, unfortunately means staying away and to reassure them that soon, after this emergency, we will return to hug them, to talk to them, exchanging kisses and words, to give caresses and ask them to help us with the children.



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Letter to grandparents at the time of the Coronavirus

"Dear grandparents,



this is the hardest time. Harder than rock. Harder than marble. You have borne the burden of this nation, of your children, of your children's families on your shoulders. You helped us raise our children, your grandchildren. You accompanied them to kindergarten, to school. You have prepared lunches, dinners, breakfasts, snacks for them.


In the economic analyzes of the last few years you have been defined as "social safety nets", not only because where you are, many difficulties - of whatever nature they may be - seem to disappear, vaporize like soap bubbles. But also because, in practice, an entire part of the country lives thanks to your savings, your capital, lives in the houses that you built and bought in the years of your adulthood, an almost impossible undertaking for most adults. today.

In these times of precarious work, of frequent supplementary funds, several times you have had to draw on your wallet to guarantee your grandchildren what the economic uncertainty of their mothers and fathers was unable to buy: the backpack for the first day of school, the First Communion dress, the shoes for the basketball course.


Many of you still ask "May I?" As you serve your large extended family. "Can I have Massimino for dinner?" "Can I invite you all together to have lunch with us?" "Can I take the little girl to the beach for a week?", "Can I buy him the first grade apron?". Now, however, dear grandparents, nothing can be done.



In these weeks, loving you means staying away from you. Protecting and taking care of yourself involves staying away, avoiding each other, avoiding yourself. Talk to you on the phone, show your grandchildren on video call. And many of you also have some problems when on the mobile screen you have to activate the video and not just the audio.



Someone among us is coming under your balcony. He greets you with his hand. We exchange flying kisses that are blown upwards from the palm of the hand. You would like to attach those kisses to a balloon and make them arrive in front of your window, so that they can pop loudly, full of all the affection with which they are thrown.


For you, this time is probably a desert time. The time you never wanted to live, never see. You who know what the value of time is, you feel that all these days empty of touches, of hugs, of dishes to be cooked are a time stolen by a thief who came to this world to do great damage.


That awful virus has stolen your most important things. You know what they are. We, your children and your grandchildren, are learning this, in spite of ourselves. How many times have you told us "Slow down a bit", "Stay five minutes", "Why don't you come and have a coffee, so we can chat for a while" and we would reply: "Sure, as soon as I can". But then it seemed to us that we never could. Well, now that we could, we really can't. And we understood how nice it would have been, to do more often everything you proposed as a possibility, asking it in a low voice, a little fearful, with the anxiety not to disturb us.


We are really sad. We are sorry to know you are alone. We feel guilty if we imagine you in trouble and we can in no way do anything. Time and again we imagine how hard it must be for you. You probably suffer because these weeks must seem like the worst theft you could have done. In your safe, the time of life is the most precious asset. And now that time is there but it is deprived of life.


Why all this waste? You would want to challenge that cowardly virus, tell him what you think of him in the face, look him in the eye and ask him how he was allowed to do this mess to you. Take away the time to be with your loved ones. Prevent you from going to Sunday mass. Don't allow yourself to stop at the corner cafe for your mid-morning coffee. Who is that virus that has come to impose all these limitations on you? To you, who may have fought for freedom, to wipe out a regime, to overturn the rules that were imposed on you and in which you did not believe.


This time will pass, dear grandparents, we will return to hug each other. To talk to each other exchanging kisses and words. To give you caresses. To ask you to help us with the children. To thank you for how much patience you have in your life, with our lives so crowded and so rushed. We love you, even now at a distance. Indeed, we seem to love you even more than usual. Because now we have realized that the good for you is stronger than everything, even this tragedy that is upsetting our communities.


We beg you to resist. Do not let yourselves be taken by the sadness of loneliness, by the anguish of death, by the fear of no longer having a time ahead. That time will be there. And that time we will discover even more precious. And we will take care of it. These days, let's grow it as we would a plant, buried in a pot. Let's wet it with the power of thought.

A thought that, like a thin and invisible thread, binds our hearts. The same thread that you have embroidered, working it as a precious weave, around our heart. The heart of us, your children and your grandchildren. Every day we rewind that thread a little. Holding an invisible skein in your hands, which day after day becomes bigger and more voluminous ".

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