DEAR ABBY: I feel like I'm all alone. My daughter's father was recently murdered, and I can't seem to get over it. Even though we hadn't been close for months before his passing, he was all I have known since I was 13. I'm trying to move on, but it's so hard.
I don't know how to help my daughter with her issues because I'm still grieving for my own father, who was killed in Baghdad several years ago.
Am I a bad mother for not talking to her enough about it? Frankly, I try to avoid the subject every chance I get. But it's eating me up inside, and I can't stop crying.
How will I ever move on to another relationship when I can't even get past the last one? How can I help my child when I feel like I can't even help myself? -- DESPERATE FOR HELP IN NEW YORK
DEAR DESPERATE FOR HELP: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the double loss in your life -- the death of your father and the tragedy that befell your daughter's father. If you are going to heal yourself and your girl, it is imperative that you find help for both of you. She needs to talk about her feelings so she can deal with them -- and so do you. Avoiding the subject, painful as it is, doesn't work, as you are finding out.
I recommend that you find a grief-support group for you and for your daughter, a safe place in which to share your feelings of loss, pain and possibly anger. An excellent place to start would be to ask your clergyperson. Please don't put it off because help is available.