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Annie’s Mailbox: After 10 years, husband still grieves first wife

Tue., Feb. 25, 2014, midnight

Dear Annie: I have a big problem. I am only 49 and have been married twice. My first wife passed away 10 years ago in May, and I am still mourning her death.

My new wife of seven years doesn’t think it’s normal that I still think about my first wife all the time. Can you help me deal with her death so I can move on and live a better life? – Still Grieving

Dear Still: There is no timetable for grief, but if you haven’t moved much beyond your initial stages of mourning after 10 years, it’s time to seek professional guidance. It is normal to think about your first wife on occasion, but it is not normal to obsess over her, cry daily, turn her closet into a shrine or constantly compare her to your current wife. If you are doing any of these things, please ask your doctor to refer you to a grief counselor.

Dear Annie: The letter from “Two Scared Parents” motivated me to speak up. People don’t seem to understand that alcoholism is an illness. I am an alcoholic with many years of sobriety. I attend AA meetings and have been to Al-Anon meetings.

People whose loved ones have other serious diseases research to find out all they can about the disease. They are usually eager to learn in order to help. So why is it that when it comes to the deadly disease of alcoholism, the family complains, makes excuses and takes no action? They expect the sick person, the one who cannot think clearly due to alcohol in the brain cells, to be logical. When I ask, “Why don’t you go to Al-Anon?” they tell me it’s not their problem.

I realize it’s hard to understand that it is a disease. Please, dear friends, go find out all you can about alcoholism. Take action to help yourself. – Anonymous

Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

 

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