The author and speaker, Bryon Katie, said: “If you argue against reality, you will suffer.” I'm afraid you've been doing that for 56 years over your mother, and it's now time to liberate yourself from that struggle and finally have peace. Accepting the truth that you'll never have a sweet and loving mommy is long overdue. Accepting that your children have their own journey to travel with their grandmother is another fact to embrace. Accepting that you have no control over their relationship with her is yet another.
After a year of going no contact with your mom, you have a good idea of whether or not it's the way to go. If it brought you serenity, I'd go back to it. If not, have limited contact. Trust yourself that at 56 you do know how to best handle this situation. It's not how you want things to be but have confidence that you've got this!
If you have been a loving and supportive mother to your kids, your relationship with them is strong and stable and nobody can damage it. If they choose to have a relationship with their grandmother, they'll eventually discover who she is when her failings are revealed. They need to learn these lessons for themselves, and you can't protect them from her.
Our kids, in fact, often have more insight into our mothers than we do. They can have the objectivity that we lack. My teenage son recently said to me about his grandmother: “She sure is passive-aggressive.” I thought to myself: Wow! He's figured that out already and it's taken me a lifetime!
Today is an opportunity for you to ask yourself: How do I want to live the rest of my life? How do I want to spend my time and with whom? While I certainly don't know how you'd answer these questions, I know that you don't want to be wasting your time thinking about your mom. Hasn't she taken up enough of your headspace for all these years?
When she starts to creep into your psyche, gain control of your thoughts and shoo her away. Then make a point of doing something that you enjoy—something that puts you into a positive frame of mind. It could be dancing around the house to your favorite music, painting a picture, calling a friend, or going for a run.
The spiritual leader, Eckhart Tolle, said: “Negativity is a denial of life.” As we grow older, we don't have time for destructive thoughts that bring us down and keep us immobile.