It does feel like bereavement, Tracy, although I would not be so callous as to compare my grandchildren moving away to them or anyone else’s grandchildren or children being gone from this earth forever. Still it has a feeling of permanence that is not consistent with the fact that I will see them again — I just don’t know when or how often although I doubt more than once or twice a year. They were a constant part of my life for eight years and now they aren’t. There is a huge hole.
Several people have made insensitive remarks that kids always leave home — but not at the ages of 11 and 9! The teen years are for the beginning of separation, allowing parents and grandparents to adjust to the kids becoming self-sufficient adults. It is a gradual process — not like this. They are still children who love to cuddle and hug, who still think we are super smart and really interesting, who still want to spend the majority of their time in our presence. That would not have lasted forever but it would have lasted a while longer.