Dear Paul B,
I am the Grandfather of six. I am turning 74 very soon, and I tried to do the best job I could, bringing up my kids, and three of the grand kids. We lost a granddaughter last year, and I am so responsible, the guilt is preventing me from being myself. I don’t want to laugh at jokes, or go to movies, or even talk to my wife and family much at all. I blame myself and can’t seem to move ahead. I talked to a neighbor who did some guidance counseling years ago (she is exactly my age,) but I think she’s just trying to make me feel better. How do we move on when we are guilty? I don’t even care about taking care of myself, and canceled my vacation with my wife of thirty nine years. My first wife had cancer and died in her thirties. Can you help me at all?
Dear Grandpa Eddie,
Sometimes we are unable to stop that “speeding train” that comes at us with a ferocity that is unavoidable. It is neither your fault or the fault of anyone else for that matter, more than likely. Our world is a complicated place to live today with drugs, violence from guns, peer pressure, materialism run rampant, and a continuously eroding family nucleus. Well more than half our families are represented by divorcees and parents and children do not “connect” or work together to solve problems and confront sensitive teenaged issues. Our youngsters are living in a concrete jungle where they are forced to make adult decisions without the wisdom, maturity or common sense, at this early stage. Parents often “assume” that kids are thriving without delving deeper into their complicated lives. Kids don’t have any life experiences when confronted with drugs, peer pressure, fitting in with “the crowd,” and competing in school. While often lacking confidence, understanding or the tools to succeed, these lost souls can fall by the wayside and find no options other than a brutal unnecessary end to their short lives. We are not God, nor can we save those loved ones who need our help. These kids must first want help, seek help, and allow themselves to be saved, which is typically 90% of the problem. Ed, please remember that you have a family who loves you and needs you for the next thirty years. You still have a huge responsibility to them. Don’t let them down, and don’t blame yourself for this untimely loss. You may need more time to grieve, which is natural, but don’t dwell on it. Life is for the living, and you are an integral part of your family. Your wife, kids and grand kids love you and NEED YOU!
— Paul B.
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