Life Advice



Ask Amy: A father’s memories don’t admit flaws

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Manipulated S

Dear Manipulated: Here is something you can do: Understand – deep in your bones – that “closure” is not something another person can grant you.

In fact, the very concept of closure and the chasing of closure is something of a red herring. Closure is a distraction, keeping you from doing the work you need to do in terms of accepting reality: (“My father is a racist. But I can’t help him to change what he won’t admit.” “My father was a poor parent. Confronting him about this is useless, because he denies it.”)

Now that his memory is fading, the past will be mutable, and he will cling to his version just as you cling to yours.

If it helps you or feels good for you to continue to confront him with the truth that only you will admit to, then keep trying.

Unfortunately, confronting him seems to lead to frustration and more distress for you, and so maybe it’s time to stop.


Dear Amy: My boss and I have a very positive and productive professional and personal relationship.

We're two years apart in age, get along swimmingly, each have two children that are similar in age, and plan to work together well into the future.

We take monthly business trips together and every few months will get together at social events with our wives and families, among others.

My wife, "Sandra," really likes him and is supportive of me spending time with him, but does not appreciate his wife, "Millie."


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