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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Personal Vow Traps Her in Loveless Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I am 13 years old, and my mom died a couple of months ago. I have been living with my grandparents most of my life, but I still felt close to her.

My grandparents never approved of her as a mother, and I don't know how to ask them if I could visit her grave every once in a while.

Should I ask them, and if I do ask them, what should I say? Please help me. -- ANONY-MISS IN N.Y.

DEAR MISS: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. Even though you lived apart, it is clear that you loved her very much.

Unless the cemetery is a great distance away, I see no reason why you shouldn't be permitted to visit your mother's grave and pay your respects. Tell your grandparents that you understand they had their differences with her, but she was still your mother, and you would like to do this because although she is gone, you still feel a bond with her. If they give you an argument, tell them I suggested you speak up. You have a right to your feelings. They are valid.