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by Abigail Van Buren

Not Even Death Can Heal Family's Seven Year Feud

DEAR ABBY: After a bitter seven-year estrangement from his family, my husband received his grandfather's eulogy in the mail. His father sent it with a note that read, "Here's a copy of the eulogy I read at his funeral." Abby, this was how his family notified him of his grandfather's death -- two weeks after the fact. We had attempted several reconciliations with no success.

A month later, my husband died at the age of 36 -- depressed and suffering from black lung disease. His family blames me for his depression. Not a single relative of my husband's attended his memorial service despite being given three weeks' notice and my having mailed them formal invitations.

My husband left a declaration in his will that his family should never know our child, whom they abandoned at 2 months old via a letter to us and my family. I feel I have been choking on their toxic behavior and venom. Do you have any advice as we move forward with our crosses after being abused by these narcissists for more than seven years? -- SAD AND BITTER WIDOW IN TENNESSEE

DEAR SAD AND BITTER WIDOW: Yes. Put down those crosses and recognize that the anger and bitterness you feel will only poison yourself and your child. Obey your husband's wishes and raise your child in a healthy emotional environment -- as far from your husband's family as possible. Unless you do, the mistreatment to which you have been subjected will affect both your lives and you will waste what could be a happy future.