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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Overcomes Childhood Abuse by Being Foster Parent

DEAR ABBY: I feel like my stepmom has lied to us kids. Our dad died almost three years ago, when I was 14. I just found out that two months before my father's passing, he was told by doctors that he had only six months to a year to live. He and our stepmother never told us. Well, two months later, Dad died. All us kids were shocked.

Months before his death, he started losing his hair and losing weight. Should I ask what was wrong with my father before he died? Or is it none of my business? -- DAUGHTER WHO NEEDS TO KNOW IN INDIANA

DEAR DAUGHTER: Speak up and ask. You have every right to know what took your father's life, and you are old enough to be told.

Please accept my sympathy for your loss. It must have been a terrible shock. While it may be difficult to understand, your father and stepmother, although misguided, were trying to protect you by not telling you.