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by Abigail Van Buren

Son Regrets Dad Didn't Live To See His Success

DEAR ABBY: For many years I have been depressed about my father's opinion of me. Dad died 30 years ago thinking I was a screwup who would never amount to anything, and at the time it was true.

Since his death I have turned my life around. I have been married for 38 years, raised a fine son and I am successful in my career.

Still, I can't get past his feeling of disappointment in me at the time of his death. It haunts me daily that I was a loser while he was alive. Any advice to stop feeling guilty? -- REGRETFUL SON

DEAR SON: Not everyone matures at the same rate, and you may have been a late bloomer. Try telling yourself that you are sorry for whatever your sin of omission was, and then give yourself a dose of forgiveness.

If that doesn't do the trick, then instead of torturing yourself, discuss this with a licensed mental health professional. Remember, no one can change the past. We can, however, change the present, and by doing so, positively affect our future.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death | Mental Health