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by Abigail Van Buren

Destination Wedding Is Aimed at Shortening the Guest List

DEAR ABBY: I am a father of four. My sons are 62 and 52. The older one calls me about every two months; the younger one hasn't called me in nearly two years. One of my daughters last spoke to me three years ago. My remaining child, a daughter, stays in regular contact with me about once a week. They all live far away out west. I have tried to contact each of my children lovingly, but have not been successful for the most part.

I now have end-stage cardiac disease and will soon be joining hospice. When I do that, I'll be faced with the decision of how much to tell my kids about my condition. In view of our distant relationships, I'm not inclined to tell them very much, since they have been so unresponsive in the past. I would welcome your suggestions. -- PONDERING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PONDERING: I am sorry about your diagnosis. I don't know whether something caused the distance between you and your three older children, or whether they are completely focused on themselves and their own lives. I do think you should disclose to all of them what is going on so amends can be made if possible. And, of course, the daughter who is close to you should know so she can be as supportive as she has always been and begin preparing herself emotionally for what is coming. She may also be helpful in spreading the word among her siblings.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death