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by Abigail Van Buren

Son Is Still Mired in Grief Long After Father's Death

DEAR ABBY: It has been a little over two years since I lost my father to leukemia. The progression of his illness and death was rapid and unforeseen. It has been a tremendous emotional strain on the family, but I seem to be having a hard time "ending" my grieving and finding even simple happiness in things I used to enjoy. I know the death of a loved one can change a person's perspective forever, but I'm wondering if my process has turned into something else.

I am somewhat prone to depression (especially around the winter months), but have stuck with my doctor's orders about medication and exercise on a regular basis. I was in counseling, but that seemed to reach its conclusion about a year ago.

I'm married with three wonderful children, and I feel like I could be a better husband and father if I could figure out how to move on. Abby, please help. -- TRYING TO MOVE ON

DEAR TRYING TO MOVE ON: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your father. The inability to find happiness in things that used to bring you joy is one of the symptoms of clinical depression. After two years, you should be doing better than you are. For that reason I'm suggesting you discuss what's going on with you with a psychiatrist, a doctor who has the training and certification to give you a definite diagnosis and medicate you, if necessary. Please don't wait to ask your doctor or your insurance company for a referral.

Read more in: Death | Mental Health