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Mon, Feb. 17

Dear Annie: No word for loss of a child

Dear Annie: Reading your column on grieving, I was reminded of a quote I read regarding a parent’s grief upon losing a child. Perhaps this would be helpful.

“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses their parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.”

This is to remind those who admonish, “Get over it, already.” They are not at all helpful! — A Grieving Reader in NY

Dear Grieving Reader in NY: Thank you for sharing this beautiful quote. May it bring some comfort to others who have lost a child.

Dear Annie: I was touched by the wisdom in your response to “Bitter.” Confession is good for the soul. My first impression was that the woman is so self-absorbed that she is dangerous to her family’s ongoing dynamics. But your answer recognized and acknowledged her personal hurt and addressed it gracefully so a positive redirection could be introduced.

I am writing this to applaud the wisdom demonstrated in your thoughtful and thought-provoking column and very kind response to her. It was a blessing to read it. — Happy Reader

Dear Happy Reader: Thank you for your incredibly kind words. I am printing your letter to highlight the importance of trying to give people the benefit of the doubt — and offering love and acceptance instead of judgment.

Dear Annie: Recently, you responded to a question regarding whether to go to a rescue organization or a breeder for a husky puppy. Your response included a reference to Petfinder. Another good resource for rescued animals is the Rescue Me Pet Foundation. They have a wide variety of animal types and of breeds of each animal type. If one organization can’t help, perhaps the other can. I applaud you for encouraging the adoption of rescued pets. — Rex Rescuer

Dear Rescuer: Thank you for your suggestions.

Dear Annie: The end of 1998 was horrible for me. I lost my father in November to cancer, and in December, I lost my 50-year-old husband to heart issues.

What has gotten me through all these years has been to think positively and to surround myself with everything positive: my favorite music, my favorite colors in clothing, my most positive friends and, especially, my family.

I have also gone back to church and am very involved in many different projects. — Tips to Cope

Dear Tips to Cope: Thank you for sharing what has supported you through your grief.

Dear Annie: Your response to “Useless in CT” was spot on. Many years ago, my 16-year-old daughter asked that I not intervene with a high school teacher so that she could handle the situation herself. She was, and is, the type of person who could communicate rationally without becoming rattled. I find this approach difficult, so I prefer the written word.

If the granddaughter is easily intimidated by bullies, she might consider writing a clearly worded letter to her grandmother. With help from her mother, the letter could outline her feelings and offer an explanation as to why she will be no longer be a participant in the gift exchange. This would enable her to put forth her side without risking verbal interruptions and excuses that may be offered by the grandmother. It may even help grandma see the result of her behavior and work to repair their relationship. — Southern Girl

Dear Southern Girl: Thank you for offering another option for sharing our thoughts and emotions — the written word. Writing letters can be a beautiful and liberating way to express our emotions. Sometimes, we don’t even need to send the letters to experience the catharsis.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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