Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am walking around with a lot of anger and hatred toward my father and my grandparents and it has turned me into a horrible person. I hate living in the same house with my father and siblings. You see, they took away my chance to be with my mother and say goodbye to her by not telling me that she was sick. Even she didn’t tell me how bad it was. She just said that she was under a doctor’s care and that everything would be okay.


Well, it wasn’t. And they all knew and covered it up.

I am only fourteen and I trusted them.

And then, four weeks ago I woke up to the sound of people crying. I was stunned to hear that my mother had died. It was like a hammer had come down on my head. The day before I had a mother, and then she was gone forever.

I remember yelling, “Why didn’t anyone tell me she was so sick, that she had so little time?” Why did they steal from me the chance to be with her, to love her for a few more days, a few more minutes? I will never be able to tell my mother how much I love her, how sorry I am for all the times I didn’t listen to her or for the arguments we had sometimes. I will never be able to hold her hand or share stories about my day or my problems in school. All this was ripped away from me, as if I was a stranger, while the others knew and were able to be with her in her last moments.

I am so broken and hurt; I cry all the time and don’t want to speak to anyone in my house. I stay in my room whenever I’m home, which I try to be as little as possible. I go down to the kitchen late at night and eat what is left over from the dinners people have sent over, because I can’t stand to look at my father and brothers for what they did to me. I also think of ways to hurt them, so they can feel the same pain. I think of running away from this family and this house, but I have nowhere to go. I even think about going to wherever my mother is, because I miss her so much.

I am writing to you because my mom always read your column and whenever she wanted to make a point, she said, “Mrs. Bluth just answered a question that cleared up my problem,” so I am writing to you because in some strange way it makes me feel closer to her, as if she was still here and I can tell her, “Mom, I wrote to Mrs. Bluth and this is what she said.”



Dearest child,

I am so terribly sorry for your loss and the circumstances surrounding your mother’s passing. I feel your deep pain and sense of betrayal from those closest to you for withholding the severity of her terminal condition, which I am sure, was done with the best of intentions. Sadly, sometimes the best of intentions turn out to be the worst choice. And that’s what happened here. Thinking to shield you from your mother’s illness and sparing you the grief they were already dealing with, did not work out as planned. Yet, I truly believe they did this out of love and concern for you and the feeling that at your tender age you would be better off not knowing until you had to know. In your case, however, this turned out to be the wrong choice.

I am very concerned that you are harboring all this pain and resentment and judging everyone in your home so harshly. Do you honestly believe that your father is not suffering seeing you so distraught and bitter on top of the pain and grief of mourning the loss of your mother? Do you really believe that your grandparents and older brothers meant to harm you? I think if you peel away the layers of pain and betrayal, you would see that their intention was to spare you from walking around with the knowledge that your beloved mother was dying.

I think it would be wise for you to speak to someone, a trusted teacher, friend or even a relative who could give you some insight into your family and help you see things from a different perspective. Nothing good can come of your dealing with this alone, as it is clear that your thinking has become compromised.

Please check in with someone you trust and let them help you through this very difficult time. Fourteen is a terrible age to lose one’s mother, yet, with a caring and supportive circle of loved ones, you will get through it.

Most people never get the chance to say good-bye to a loved one, but who says you have to? Your mother is always with you so speak to her in your heart. Remember her when she was well and relive the memories of the good times you spent together and the fun things. If your heart is filled with hate and sorrow for what cannot be changed, then there is little room for those pleasant memories and loving thoughts to reside there.

I am honored that your mom, a”h, enjoyed this column and found answers in my words. Look heavenward and tell your mom, “You’ll never guess what I did, Mom. I wrote to Mrs. Bluth and this is what she said.”

I hope I have given you some small comfort in my reply and if I can help you further, please reach out to me and I’ll be glad to do whatever I can to ease your grief.