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Dear Annie

No word for loss of a child

Dear Annie: Reading your column on grieving, I was reminded of a quote I read regarding a parent’s grief upon losing a child. Perhaps this would be helpful.

“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses their parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.”

This is to remind those who admonish, “Get over it, already.” They are not at all helpful! — A Grieving Reader in NY

Dear Grieving Reader in NY: Thank you for sharing this beautiful quote. May it bring some comfort to others who have lost a child.

Dear Annie: I was touched by the wisdom in your response to “Bitter.” Confession is good for the soul. My first impression was that the woman is so self-absorbed that she is dangerous to her family’s ongoing dynamics. But your answer recognized and acknowledged her personal hurt and addressed it gracefully so a positive redirection could be introduced.

I am writing this to applaud the wisdom demonstrated in your thoughtful and thought-provoking column and very kind response to her. It was a blessing to read it. — Happy Reader

Dear Happy Reader: Thank you for your incredibly kind words. I am printing your letter to highlight the importance of trying to give people the benefit of the doubt — and offering love and acceptance instead of judgment.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book – featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette – is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.