Widow discovers decades-old omission in man’s obituary

Published 9:20 am Monday, January 15, 2024

DEAR ABBY: My husband died in a car accident 38 years ago. Until yesterday, I had never read his obituary. Our daughter and I were not mentioned in it! It was written by my father-in-law. I am very upset. I have no intention of informing my daughter about this discovery, as she loved her grandfather and has fond childhood memories of him.
I know I will, in time, forgive him for excluding me. But I’m finding it hard to forgive him for omitting her. Am I wrong to not tell her? What if she one day finds the obituary and sees we were left out? I know it will upset her. I don’t know the right thing to do. – MYSTIFIED IN NEW YORK

DEAR MYSTIFIED: Obituaries are usually written during a time of great stress. Grieving families are not at their best and can be distracted not only by the pain of their loss, but also by the many details that must be attended to. Your husband’s death must have been a terrible shock not only for you and your little girl, but also his father. Forgive him for the omission.
Because you would like to spare your daughter the pain you are experiencing, once you calm down, tell her you saw the obituary, that her grandfather loved you both and that he must have been in terrible emotional turmoil when he wrote it because it contains some “important omissions.” Or write her an explanatory note, and attach it to the front of the clipping so she will read it first.
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DEAR ABBY: I work in a supermarket in which there are several managers. One female manager is very intimidating. She criticizes me and watches me like a hawk. Last week, she had me crying at home. My home life isn’t very good either. My parent is suffering from dementia and keeps my sister and me up and down all night. Plus, I just had a milestone birthday, which only one co-worker remembered. I’m not the only one this manager intimidates. I am close to quitting or transferring to another store. What should I do? – UNHAPPY IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR UNHAPPY: Accept that because you have a stressful home life, you may be more vulnerable at work. You and your sister should discuss your demented parent’s nighttime wandering with their doctor and ask if there is a medical solution for the problem behavior. Another helpful resource would be the Alzheimer’s Association (visit alz.org to find a chapter near you). Sometimes just sticking to a regular schedule can help to reduce anxiety and regulate the behavior of the affected person.
As to your problem with your female supervisor, if it is possible to transfer to another store and a less stressful environment, you should do that. If you like the job, then make that move.
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DEAR READERS: Today, we remember the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in 1968 was martyred in the cause of civil rights. His philosophy still rings true: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – LOVE, ABBY
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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