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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Stays Married for Money Despite Woman's Offer of Love

DEAR ABBY: I have had enough of the letters from people who ask you to fight their battles for them. I am referring to those who ask you to print a column on what not to say to overweight people, what not to say to a recent widow or widower, and what to say (or not say) to a childless couple, etc.

Abby, your advice to them should be to tell people exactly how they feel instead of waiting for you to tell them.

When my beautiful 5-year-old daughter lost all her hair when she had chemotherapy for cancer, I didn't write to Abby and ask her to tell people to be more sensitive to those who suffer from cancer.

I politely told people my daughter was recovering from cancer. When she was confined to a wheelchair, we took her to the mall to window-shop and ignored those who stared and asked questions.

And by the way, I think "Sympathetic in Seattle's" sister-in-law should be more sympathetic to those of us who have lost a child. I hope she'll never know firsthand what a terrible comparison she makes insisting that failure to conceive a child is the same as losing a child in death. I respect the fact that she's disappointed and upset, but she's comparing a paper cut to a gunshot wound.

Believe me, if I ever heard her say that, I'd tell her that to her face and not wait for Abigail Van Buren to write it in her column. -- PEEVED IN PENNSYLVANIA