The fact that your children have had a good relationship with this man is just fine. That’s their reality and they shouldn’t pretend otherwise either, even knowing that your experience was different (I’m presuming they know it was). Dr. Grenier reminds us that funerals are supposed to make people feel better by giving us an opportunity to process things. If you don’t have anything to process and you’re not going to feel better then stay home. Being honest about your experience with this man, and your feelings about him as a result, is empowering. It is not disrespectful.

“Secret keeping and putting on a face, for the most part, doesn’t lead you to any place productive,” says Dr. Grenier. “Nothing is going to happen by being honest with the children and staying away – except a more informed dialogue.” So don’t subject yourself to what Dr. Grenier calls “the tyranny of tradition.”

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Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.

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