Dear Abby: My wife died unexpectedly two years ago after 18 years of a happy marriage and two kids. While we are doing as well as can be expected, one thing seems to set my grief off. It’s when someone refers to my life as my “new normal.”

I’m not sure I can put my finger on why this phrase bothers me so much, but if I had to guess, it’s because I suspect people are using it to hint that it’s time I moved on. Why is it that people who would be deeply offended if I attempted to tell them what to do with their life, seem to think it’s acceptable to imply that I have grieved enough?

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also know as Jeanne Phillips..

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