Daughter struggles to reveal details of mom's violent death

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DEAR ABBY: My mother was murdered by a serial killer about 16 years ago. Whenever the subject of parents comes up at work, I dont know what to tell people when they ask about my mom.

I am 26. Once in a while, they will ask me about what happened to her, but when I open my mouth to say something, I get nervous and start blushing. This might be because I know people get uncomfortable when you talk about stuff like this. I also feel weird telling them that my mother was a prostitute and thats how she was murdered. Sometimes I say she was in an accident but thats a lie.

Can you give me any advice on the proper way to discuss this in the office without it being weird for me or the other person?

MOTHERLESS DAUGHTER

DEAR MOTHERLESS DAUGHTER: The fact that you become nervous when trying to discuss what happened to your mother means to me that you are still traumatized by the circumstances of her death. (Frankly, thats understandable.) When someone asks about your mother, its not necessary to give chapter and verse unless you want to. Tell the person your mother passed away many years ago, which is the truth. If you are pressed for details, say that the topic is painful and change the subject. You are under no social obligation to bare your soul to anyone.

DEAR ABBY: I am being married in May. I want to wear my wedding gown to the airport and on the plane. Is this common? Is it proper? Please let me know.

BRIDE-TO-BE

DEAR BRIDE-TO-BE: There is no law against it, but I would recommend against wearing your bridal gown to the airport because the idea is impractical. Airport floors are dirty and could soil the gown. A trip up or down an escalator could tear the hem. The compulsory security screening could also create a problem, and so would the seating on the aircraft.

It would be much better to do what brides traditionally do: After the reception, change into comfortable traveling clothes and leave your wedding gown at home.

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