DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my father died at the age of 58. My mother has not taken it well. Although she went through grief counseling, she did not benefit from it. Abby, she acts as if my father is still alive, that he has gone on a trip and will return at any time. She is also becoming increasingly unstable. If told the truth about Dad's death, she throws a fit.
Lately, my mother has become more violent, leaving bruises on her victims. I love Mother very much, but not only has she injured me, she has attacked her grandchildren as well. My husband says we should just leave her in the house to die. We do not have the money to put her in a home, and if we did, she'd refuse to leave the home Dad built.
What can I do about my out-of-control mother? -- WORRIED SICK IN TEXAS
DEAR WORRIED SICK: From your description of her behavior, your mother may be mentally ill. Tell her again that your father is dead. If she assaults you again, call the police. Tell them this isn't the first time it has happened and that she has also assaulted the children. If someone is a danger to himself or others, then that person can be hospitalized for a short period of observation by mental health professionals. And that could be what saves your mother, who appears to be in serious need of professional help.