Dear Abby: My dad died after my sister hit him. Now I’m worried for my mom.

4 weeks ago
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DEAR ABBY: My elderly father died recently. Although he had a variety of ailments, including heart disease, his death was unexpected.
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Three days before Dad passed, he was again trying to bail her out of a situation involving people she knew who stole her car. While Dad was driving her, she lost her temper (again) and struck him multiple times as my mother (on the phone) begged her to stop.

Dad died a few days later, perhaps not from the assault, but his body just said, “Enough!”

My sister is now sinking her teeth into my mother like she did my dad, and I don’t know what to do.

I want Mom to cut her out of her life before this happens again, but Mom says, “She’s still my daughter.”

— BETTER SIBLING IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR BETTER SIBLING: Your sister is still your mother’s daughter as she was her father’s.

Point out to Mom that in spite of all the years your father spent bailing your sister out, her behavior never improved. Often when we love someone, our instinct is to try to rescue them. Unfortunately, as your sister’s addiction problem has proven, that rarely works.

Please find where the chapters of Nar-Anon are located in your vicinity and invite your mother to go with you to some of the meetings. It is a 12-step program for family and friends of addicts. You can find the information at nar-anon.org.

If you do, it could save not only your sister’s life but also your mother’s.

DEAR ABBY: I was married for 25 years before I got divorced. We had three children.

I begged my ex to be a better dad, although I knew it probably would not happen. Currently, he has no contact with any of them. He alienated them for different reasons, and his new wife has caused some issues.

Recently, my youngest daughter (who is 36) gave birth for the first time. She had a very difficult pregnancy and almost died. Four or five weeks after the delivery, she had a major blood clot in her leg and again almost died.

I think her dad should be notified by letter. However, all of the kids insist they want nothing to do with him. He has my daughters’ phone numbers (though not my son’s), so he could call them.

At one time, he stated that he doesn’t have any kids, they are mine. What do you think?

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If your ex had wanted anything to do with his children, he would have been present for them. Your children are adults now, and they are able to decide on their own with no help from you how they want to conduct their lives.

Frankly, I have a strong hunch that trying to involve their father now would only bring more pain than he has already caused.

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.…Read more by Jeanne Phillips

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