Grieving dad wrestles with his rage

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS One of the world’s best student archers fires with her teeth | 1:41

The tension on her bowstring is about 20 pounds. And she relies completely on her jaw to pull it. Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Teacher granted magical gift of seeing color | 1:38

His students told him to imagine he was Harry Potter going into a Quidditch match. What they had in store for him was truly magical. Wochit

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Mom with breast cancer and daughter with alopecia show us bald is beautiful | 2:00

Kristi lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy. Her daughter Rose, who has alopecia, showed her how beautiful and strong they are together. Wochit

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Teacher surprises every child in his school with handmade scarf | 1:31

Jeffrey has been clipping and sewing for months, but putting a smile on 600 children’s faces makes it all worth it. Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Officer Tommy Norman thanks loved ones | 0:00

People thank Officer Norman regularly for being a great member of his community. Now, he‘s thanking a few of the people in his life. #shareyourthanks Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS As dad fights cancer, son carries on Santa tradition | 3:09

Mike, who‘s been delivering toys and gifts to Kentucky children since 1975, lets son, Jordan, take his place so the Christmas tradition goes on.

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS This spontaneous dance competition is too cute for words | 0:55

What better way to pass the time at the airport? Two girls got into a cute dance competition with a kind airport employee Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Gift bags left around town to wrap needy in kindness | 1:30

Heather and her volunteers distribute scarfs, gloves and hats by stringing them around town for whoever needs them. Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Boy hands out Christmas cheer to sanitation workers | 0:36

Every week, this little boy waits by the window for the sanitation workers to come to his house. For Christmas, he gave them a homemade card and cookies.

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Devoted husband cares for wife with Alzheimer’s | 1:33

Dan Summers has taken care of wife Joan at home for the past 17 years. Joan has late-stage Alzheimer‘s disease. Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Santa helps grieving mother remember her son | 1:33

Amanda lost her son during pregnancy. To remember him, she takes a teddy bear memorializing him wherever she goes. That includes Christmas photos with Santa. Humankind

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CLOSEHUMANKIND VIDEOS Foster kid finds new home with loving teacher | 1:30

He used to call her teacher. Now he calls her mom. Humankind

12 of 12

  • One of the world’s best student archers fires with her teeth
  • Teacher granted magical gift of seeing color
  • Mom with breast cancer and daughter with alopecia show us bald is beautiful
  • Teacher surprises every child in his school with handmade scarf
  • Officer Tommy Norman thanks loved ones
  • As dad fights cancer, son carries on Santa tradition
  • This spontaneous dance competition is too cute for words
  • Gift bags left around town to wrap needy in kindness
  • Boy hands out Christmas cheer to sanitation workers
  • Devoted husband cares for wife with Alzheimer’s
  • Santa helps grieving mother remember her son
  • Foster kid finds new home with loving teacher

Serious concerned caucasian mature man posing looking away(Photo: Juanmonino, Getty Images)

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Dear Amy: I lost my beloved wife to cancer four years ago. Her death was devastating for me and my three children.

We are all working through our shock and sorrow. My goal through all this upheaval has been to maintain a stable household. I want my kids to feel like the home they love and remember is still here for them whenever they return. Maintaining domestic rituals has helped me work through my own grief. But it also feels like this is having an unintended consequence with my youngest daughter.

While away at college, this daughter has expressed a normal kind of homesickness. She is also a young adult who is testing my boundaries and her independence, which can feel like self-centeredness on her part.

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I have a history of anger-related issues. I’ve tried to grow, but my daughter’s displays of willfulness gradually bring out a level of rage in me that even I find surprising. My outbursts end up dishonoring the memory of my wife and ruining everything I’m trying to accomplish, which leaves me feeling very, very sad. I can see the emotional dynamic, but that doesn’t keep me from falling victim to it. Where do I turn for help? — Angry Father

Dear Angry: I sincerely hope that you have seen a therapist since your wife’s death. If you haven’t, you should see a professional to help you deal with your anger.

You should also consider joining a grief support group; these are typically informal meetings with people who have also walked this tough path. Many hospitals provide information on support groups in your area. You may be surprised at how much better you feel simply communing with others.

Remember that you cannot force everything to be “normal” just because that’s what you want. Your daughter, on the other hand, seems to be acting-out within the normal range of older teens. It seems unwise and perhaps unfair to gauge your own behavior based on your wife’s memory. She is gone; you are grieving and you need to learn to turn down the heat on your anger in order to be gentle with yourself — and not triggered by your daughter’s behavior.

Dear Amy: I am a single woman. I used to be a binge eater. About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I have since become fit and active.

I have a friend who is at least 200 pounds overweight. We are both retired. Last year we decided to start taking trips together. I enjoy her company, but after two trips together I am very disappointed in her as a traveling companion. She can barely walk two blocks. We mostly drive around or sit on benches near where we parked the car and watch the world go by. I am so sad and frustrated at not being able to fully explore these dream destinations. I need exercise to maintain my health and I love taking long walks in new places. In addition, watching her overeat at every meal is depressing.

If I start traveling without her, I feel like I would need to hide this part of my life from her to protect her feelings.

Even worse, I have another friend, also obese, who also now wants to travel with me!

How can I handle this? — Active Traveler

Dear Active: Traveling with friends is often fraught with peril; and in this case, I feel like you are dangerously close to doubling down on the peril.

Given your condition and that of your friend’s, you must have realized that being incompatible travel companions was a possibility.

You shouldn’t blame another person for you not having enough fun or getting enough exercise on your vacation. I’ve been on enough vacations (and exercise regimes) to know that there is only one person responsible for your experience: you.

If you really want to end your travels with this person, then you’re going to have to be honest, adult and respectful. Acknowledge that the trips aren’t quite what you envisioned and that, for now, you would like to become a solo traveler.

Dear Amy: My blood started to boil reading the letter from “Devoted and Caring Parents,” who wanted an exact 50-50 sharing of all holidays with their son and future daughter-in-law (whose parents are divorced).

The pressure these parents were exerting on the younger couple is neither “devoted” nor “caring.” — Been There

Dear Been There: Horror stories of people running themselves ragged trying to please everyone on Christmas Day are flooding my inbox.

You can Amy Dickinson via askamy. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter or “like” her on Facebook.

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