Dear Abby…You Got It Wrong


By: Mark Tisdahl, proud dad of Colette

It’s been a year since we lost our daughter. One of the things that has struck me is how lonely it is once you’ve lost a child. I say this having incredibly supportive friends and family, but our house is way too quiet. We decided to have a private (just me and my wife) visit to our daughter’s grave where we brought balloons and flowers. Was our “celebration” morbid? Probably, but that’s irrelevant. The more important question is “was it healing?” and the answer to that is hell yes. It gave me a minutes peace to worry about what color balloons she’d want, it gave me a smile, it gave me the ability to be a parent and to be concerned about what she would want us to do to honor her. It also gave me someone to grieve with. I’m lonely. I don’t have someone to hold, someone to sooth when she cries, someone to take care of. I say this with love and support from friends and family. I can’t imagine the loneliness without that love and support and Crystal and Abby need to think about what kind of family members they want to be. Do they want to be supportive? Or do they want to ostracize? It’s not at all surprising that a columnist who is famous for not speaking to her sister for years would think that ostracizing family who are hurting is the right choice. This wasn’t a mistake. It was Dear Abby who is.

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