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by Abigail Van Buren

Cousin's Death Still Impacting Reader

DEAR ABBY: My 17-year-old cousin died in 2010, and I'm still hurting. I have tried to get over it, but we were really close. When I walk the halls at school, I hear people say bad things about him. When I bring his name up, no one has anything good to say about him. It seems like they don't really care that he was my cousin and I loved him.

How can I ask these people not to say bad things about him? -- HURTING IN INDIANA

DEAR HURTING: Because people forget that the young man who died was your relative, feel free to remind them. All you need to say is: "You know, he was my cousin and we were close. I still miss him, and I wish you wouldn't say things like that about him when I'm around."

Losing a relative at any age is hard, but when the person is young, it can be even harder. Because you are still hurting and it has been three years, consider talking about this with a school counselor or joining a grief support group. Your clergyperson can help you locate one.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death