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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Sudden Death Comes With a Shocking Revelation

DEAR ABBY: A short time ago, I experienced a terrible loss. I came home from work one evening and found "Martin," my boyfriend of almost 17 years, dead at the bottom of the stairs. I later found out he had been drinking.

I never saw Martin drinking before. He did it very rarely. He didn't go to bars, and he would never drink and drive. He did have a close friend who would visit him on occasion, and they would drink beer together.

Abby, I feel deceived and betrayed on top of the terrible grief I can't seem to overcome. Martin knew how I felt about drinking because I was previously married to an alcoholic for 19 years. How do I get past this? -- WOUNDED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR WOUNDED: Please accept my deepest sympathy, not only for your loss, but for the manner in which you found your boyfriend. It had to have been an awful shock.

Are you absolutely certain his death was alcohol-related? Was there an autopsy? People have been known to suffer strokes or massive heart attacks that can take them suddenly, and if Martin was on the stairs, something like that could have caused his fall rather than the fact he had alcohol in his system.

A way to move past your anger and disappointment would be to look further into what happened if that's possible, and if his cause of death is what you suspect, forgive him. Hanging onto anger and bitterness is not healthy for you.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Death