There Is No Guilt in Taking Space to Grieve
Dear Annie: I had a cousin who was dating an actress. On her biography, she listed people she had dated but did not bother to mention my cousin.
My cousin committed suicide because she dumped him. Before killing himself, he said he was so upset that he was going to take his own life. That was the last we heard from him. That morning, he hanged himself. His sister found him, but it was already too late.
I don't know if I have a right to be mad at her, but I am, and I won't even watch her show. Please help me. -- Grieving Cousin
Dear Grieving: I am so sorry for your loss. That is so devastating for you and your entire family.
I don't blame you for not wanting to see this woman as an actress. Take whatever steps you need to in order to grieve properly. You don't have to watch her on screen at all. My guess is that your cousin's ex-girlfriend is feeling lots of guilt and sadness herself.
The best thing you can do is take care of yourself and allow yourself time to feel grief.
Dear Annie: Having a mother with dementia is challenging and brings out feelings of guilt and inadequacy. My mom was a sweet, wonderful woman, and we kept her home as long as possible. It became a question of her safety and the sanity of the family. It may not be financially feasible for everyone, but we finally admitted her to a memory unit.
I cried for a week, anticipating that day. She adjusted quite well, and the structure, activities and loving nature of the staff were better for her than when she was at home. I visited each day, and there were times when she preferred her "girls" over me, which supported my decision to place her there. The cost was about one-third of that of a regular nursing home, and they had a chef with meal choices and a once-a-month free family meal.
My mom is gone now, but I don't regret that decision. The most hurtful time is when friends say they would never do that. To that I say, don't speak of which you have no experience. -- Loved My Mother
Dear Loved My Mother: Thank you for sharing your experience. I have the feeling that your mother was an amazing woman, based on how much you cared for her comfort and safety. I hope your letter prompts others to avoid saying "never" about any of our choices for the future, other than, "You never know."
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.