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by Abigail Van Buren

Sympathy for Widowed Mother Ignores Child's Pain

DEAR ABBY: My father passed away after a long illness four months ago. I lived in the same building as my parents, but a different apartment. (I still do.)

Obviously, I encounter other tenants in the public areas of the building. Since my father's death, most of them have asked me how my mother is doing. However, no one has ever asked me how I am doing. Frankly, it's very hurtful. Dad was getting hospice care at home, so I experienced his decline and finally the loss. Why does no one care to offer me any words of sympathy? -- STILL GRIEVING

DEAR STILL GRIEVING: When there is a death, many people are uncomfortable. They don't mean to be insensitive; they simply don't know what to say to the grieving relatives.

I assume that your mother and father are/were elderly. The death of a spouse after many decades of marriage can be so traumatic that the partner goes into a decline. Your neighbors may assume that because you are younger and stronger, that you are more resilient and therefore are doing fine. Please don't hold the fact that they haven't asked how you are doing against them.

Read more in: Death | Family & Parenting