Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

DEAR HARRIETTE: The 10-year anniversary of my brother's death is coming up, and I want to do something special in his memory. He was 15 when one of his classmates shot up his school. My brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I still remember the day like it was yesterday; it was shocking. My mom and dad struggled a lot with his death, and I want to show them that he will always be with us. What is a meaningful thing to do on the anniversary of his death? -- Remembering My Brother, Chicago

DEAR REMEMBERING MY BROTHER: I am so sorry for your loss. Even though your brother left this world 10 years ago, I imagine that the wound still feels fresh. Given the tragic way your brother died, it would be impossible for you to have resolution about his death.

One thing you might consider at the 10-year anniversary is to establish a scholarship in your brother's name. It could be connected to his favorite sports club, his school or a college of his dreams. You can decide, but that is a wonderful way to have an ongoing memory of him that extends beyond the family.

If you want to do something smaller, consider hosting a family dinner where you present a photo album of photos and items that reflect your brother’s life. You can make the album yourself, or you can create it online and have it printed at a place like Walgreens, Costco or Shutterfly.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is leaving for the military soon, and I’m not ready to see her go. She has been assigned to Germany for eight months, where she will be studying and receiving training. I’m scared to let my little girl go so far away to a place where she’s never been -- and to the military, of all things, which is known to discriminate against women. How can I keep myself calm during this time in her life? -- Military Bound, Lexington, Kentucky

DEAR MILITARY BOUND: It is natural for you to feel anxious about your daughter going off to start her independent life, which is exacerbated by her choice being the military. The good news is that the military is very disciplined, which should be good for your daughter in terms of developing skills that will support her life. She will grow stronger and more focused.

In terms of discrimination against women, sadly, many governmental and private industry organizations still struggle with prejudiced practices that need to be addressed. The good news is that the military is making an effort to be more equitable in the way that it treats its members. Talk to your daughter about being cautious and aware of her surroundings. Encourage her to step into her training fully so that she can learn everything and have a full, dynamic experience. It is time for you to let her go and for her to start living her life independent of you.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)