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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Who Caused Daughter's Injury Now Must Help Her Heal

DEAR ABBY: My two children were in a terrible car accident and were both airlifted to a children's hospital. My son was released two weeks later, but my daughter is still there, suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Abby, I was driving the car. Why can't my daughter have the life I took away from her? Why is she being punished and not me? -- ANGUISHED MOTHER

DEAR ANGUISHED: You're asking a question that philosophers have pondered for centuries -- why bad things happen to good people. In many cases the answer is simply "fate."

While you feel your daughter is being punished instead of you, I say the guilt you're carrying is punishment and it is not healthy for you or your child. Please don't waste time flogging yourself, because your daughter needs you. Counseling may help you to come to terms with what happened. I hope you'll consider it, as you will need every ounce of strength you can muster to help her in the months ahead.