DEAR ABBY: My grandma died when I was 7. She was my favorite person, and I adored her. She played with me when no one else had the time, taught me how to bake, told me stories and didn't care that I was playing in the dishwater when she was trying to wash dishes.
I always knew that before she married Grandpa, she had worked as a cook in an American Indian boarding school in the U.S. I now know how atrocious, evil and disgusting those places were. They practiced government- and church-condoned cultural genocide and were places where children were sexually and emotionally abused.
Although I love my grandma, I'm embarrassed, angry and disgusted that she worked in one. If it was church-affiliated, I know she would have overlooked any abuse, even if she saw the act. How can I get past my anger and hurt at someone for something they did a lifetime ago? She has been dead more than 40 years. -- HURT GRANDDAUGHTER
DEAR HURT: From your description, your grandmother was a loving, caring, hardworking woman who was trying to feed (and possibly nurture) the children living in the boarding school. It may have been the only job she could find to support herself. While terrible things happened there, they were not her fault.
Child abuse isn't restricted to any one religion. Today, many religious people in many denominations cannot bring themselves to believe there is such evil among them. If your grandmother had shortcomings, forgive her for them and move on with your life. Dwelling on these negative feelings for someone who was good to you and is long gone isn't healthy for you.