There is no blame in taking space to grieve |

Dear Annie, I had a cousin who was dating an actress. In her biography, she listed the people she had dated, but didn’t bother to mention my cousin.

My cousin killed herself because she left him. Before committing suicide, she said that he was so upset that she was going to take her own life. That was the last we heard of him. That morning, he hanged himself. His sister found him, but it was too late.

I don’t know if I have the right to be mad at her, but I am, and I won’t even watch her show. Please help. — Grieving Cousin

Dear Grief: I am so sorry for your loss. That is so devastating for you and your entire family.

I don’t blame you for not wanting to see this woman as an actress. Take the necessary steps to properly grieve. You don’t have to see it on the screen at all. My guess is that your cousin’s ex-girlfriend is feeling very guilty and sad.

The best thing you can do is take care of yourself and give yourself time to feel pain.

Dear Annie, Having a mother with dementia is challenging and creates feelings of guilt and inadequacy. My mom was a wonderful, sweet woman, and we kept her home as long as possible. She became a matter of her safety and her family’s sanity. She may not be financially feasible for everyone, but we’re finally supporting her on a memory unit.

I cried for a week, anticipating that day. She adjusted quite well and the structure, activities and loving nature of her staff were better for her than when she was at home. I visited her every day and there were times when she preferred her “girls” over me, which supported my decision to place her there. The cost was about a third of that of a regular nursing home, and they had a chef with meal options and a free family meal once a month.

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My mom is gone, but I don’t regret that decision. The most painful moment is when friends say they would never do that. To that I say, do not talk about those who have no experience. – I love my mother

Dear Beloved My Mother: Thank you for sharing your experience. I have a feeling your mother was an amazing woman, based on how much you cared for her comfort and safety. I hope her letter encourages others to avoid saying “never” about any of our options for the future, other than “You never know.”

“How can I forgive my cheating partner?” it’s out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology, featuring her favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication, and reconciliation, is available in paperback and eBook. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

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