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Estranged daughter out of the loop

DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, our 40-year-old daughter, “Tanya,” suddenly accused me of abusing her during her childhood. She also accused my husband, her dad, of enabling this abuse. Abby, the abuse never happened!

Could some therapist have planted these ideas in her head? Tanya has problems with alcohol (which she blames on me) and has been divorced from two wonderful men who she claims also abused her. She can’t maintain friendships with women because as soon as they do something that makes Tanya mad, she cuts them off.

Our other daughter, “Nadia,” is three years younger. She doesn’t have an alcohol problem and has a great husband and a toddler. Tanya has cut her off as well and has never met her brother-in-law or nephew. Nadia says her childhood was idyllic. Neither child lives near us.

My husband is living with incurable cancer, which Tanya knew before she excommunicated us. I don’t know if I should inform her when her father dies, or let her find out through others on Facebook. My husband and I and Nadia don’t use Facebook, but relatives do, and I am sure they will make it known.

I am torn about this. Tanya has hurt all of us repeatedly for so many years that we all agree that life is more pleasant without her around us. However, I’m afraid not telling her will cause more problems. Advice? – Damned Both Ways in Illinois

DEAR DAMNED: You said Tanya has “excommunicated” you, her father and her sister. She appears to be an angry and bitter woman who needs to find someone other than herself to blame for her unhappiness. She’s unlikely to improve without professional help or an alcohol intervention.

When your husband passes, I’m hoping you will write her a brief letter explaining that you want her to know her father loved her. Give her the date of his passing, his obituary and the location of his final resting place. If you do, your conscience should be clear. What, if anything, she decides to do with that information is up to her.

DEAR ABBY: I had a long and wonderful marriage before my husband passed away after a lengthy illness three years ago. I have supportive friends to go to lunch and coffee with, but I miss the companionship of a special someone. One of them is a man I have known for many years. He has been a widower for more than 10 years. He has dated several women with no commitments and is always a gentleman.

Before my husband’s passing, he once said if I wasn’t married, he would call me. He hasn’t contacted me. How can I contact him without seeming aggressive? He has said that he’s pleased with his current companion because there is “no drama.” Please advise how an elegant lady can call him on the phone (he doesn’t use email). – Classy in California

DEAR CLASSY: Consider this: Throw a small party and invite some of your friends to join you. Then, pick up the phone and ask this gentleman if he and his lady friend would like to join you. There is no reason you can’t be friends, as long as you realize he is involved with someone else (for now).

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.