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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Gets Served an Earful in Line at Breakfast Buffet

DEAR ABBY: I lost my wife and only child three years ago in a car accident. I felt my life ended that day, but I've managed to put the pieces back together thanks to the support of my family and friends. Now I'm at the point where I think I'm strong enough to start dating again.

When do I tell my date what happened? I don't want to scare her away with my story. It's a big part of who I am, but it's not all I am. First dates are about getting to know someone and it's hard not to share this, but I'm uncomfortable sharing right away. Do you have any advice? -- TENTATIVE IN MINNESOTA

DEAR TENTATIVE: I see no reason why you should disclose all the details of what happened to your wife and child on a first or second date. If the subject of your marital status is raised, it's perfectly all right to say that you are a widower, that the subject is a painful one, and you will share more details when you know the person better. It would be insensitive for anyone to press you for more information after hearing a statement like that.