Grandparent trauma can be separated into a few categories:
- Parents who encouraged or forced their child to abort,
- Parents who did not know their child was pregnant and aborted,
- Parents who allowed their child to make their own choice about aborting,
- Parents who actively tried to stop the abortion but had no legal standing.
- Parents who find out later that their son or daughter lost a child to abortion
For the parents who encouraged or forced an abortion, there is similar pain to other demographic groups. Guilt, anxiety, mourning, grief, depression, etc. can all result. In many cases, the healing process can be similar to a mother's process. By acknowledging their loss, reaching out and grieving the loss of this child, they can also find peace.
For parents who may never discover that a grandchild was aborted, there may be no specific grief. The family often experiences a turbulent relationship with the aborting daughter / son but rarely suspect a past abortion could be the reason for the difficulties. This daughter or son might become angry when a sibling presents the family with the first grandchild, secretly knowing that her child should have received this esteemed position.
When the parent allows the child to make the abortion decision, many times the grandparent feels guilt for not being more actively involved. This is especially painful when history shows the aborted child to be the only grandchild. Peace may be obtained by acknowledging the loss, and proceeding through the grieving and recovery process.
Parents who actively tried to stop the abortion but had no legal rights are especially open to pain and family trauma. As is the parent who found out later that their son or daugher lost a child to abortion. This is more often the case when their son's girlfriend / wife has the abortion. Denial is not a part of dealing with this pain. Grief is immediate and profound. Especially if the grandparent themselves is post-abortive.