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Adult Children Blame Stepdad for Mother's Death

DEAR ABBY: Six years ago, I retired to care for my wife of 34 years. She was on multiple meds and wheelchair-bound, suffering from high blood pressure, alcohol and nicotine addiction, chronic depression, morbid obesity, advancing kidney failure, severe arthritis and worsening dementia.

Throughout the remainder of her difficult life, I was her only caregiver. Her son and daughter were "too busy" to help, although they live only a few minutes away. (Her "too busy" daughter didn't even have a job.) During the final year of my wife's struggle, not once did they visit her.

After she died, they spread the word on social media that she died because I didn't take care of her. I don't know if it was to deflect criticism from themselves or to assuage a guilty conscience (if they even have one). What kills me is they told that same lie to my grandchildren, and I can't call and tell them the truth. My son-in-law threatened the kids that if they spoke to me, he would take away their phones.

It has been a year and a half, and this mess still breaks my heart. Any suggestions? -- UNHAPPY GRANDPA

DEAR GRANDPA: Unless there is a chapter missing from your letter, what your children have done is not only inexplicable but also despicable. To alienate you from your grandchildren is heartless.

However, what's done is done. You know you did everything you possibly could for your late wife. Now go, live your life to the fullest and stop looking back because you richly deserve every GOOD thing life brings your way.

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