DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My heart goes out to Broken in Pieces, who lost the foreign student she loved to his betrothed back home. I know exactly how she feels and it is just like death. I lost someone through breakup, never to see them again. And, I lost four close friends this year in a matter of three months. I also work in a funeral home and deal with grief every day, 24/7. One suggestion I have for her is pick five things she has always wanted to do or feels are very important, and do those things this year. Work on making yourself happy again! It has worked for me and for a few friends of mine. She could go travel somewhere by herself or with a close friend. Be spontaneous, but not out-of-control. I got tattoos that represented the most important thing to me -- family. I also got a promotion at work I really pushed for. Keep busy, have fun. Find out who the new you is. You will be a stronger lady. Wishing her all the best! -- Been There Recently, Winnipeg
Dear Been There: Time will dull the hurt very slowly, so there's a lot to be said for constant busy-ness and distraction so you don't hurt all day and night in the beginning. That, and a combination of counselling to speed up the process of healing, works best. The worst idea is to go travelling alone to romantic places. But, adventure or charity travel where you bond with a group to climb a mountain or help people in need is good medicine, Plus, something physical like a racquet sport where you can actually hit something good and hard is great for letting out frustration. In the case of the woman who wrote me, anger is likely to show up soon when she finally realizes her hero could have warned her earlier, and didn't. He knew he would probably cave and go back to his country and family when his education was finished, or if he got caught seeing a Canadian woman. Maybe he didn't intend to fall in love with her, but he should have told her when he started with this romance that he could not defy his family.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just found out something shocking, that my university-educated mother was a hooker in her college days in Toronto and that's how she got through her education. I won't say how I found out because that would get somebody into big trouble. When I faced my mother with it, she didn't deny it. She said she wasn't out on the streets but she had no money for education, so she had secret "boyfriends" who paid to be with her. My father, who died a few years ago, never had any idea and that's why the whistle-blower said she waited.Now, what do I do with the information, which is eating me up? -- Horrified Daughter of a Hooker, Winnipeg
Dear Horrified: You've confronted your mother with her secret and she sees how shocked and disappointed you are. What's left is to work it out in your mind, with a psychologist to help the process stay on track. Don't flog your mother with this repeatedly. It's also not information you need to spread around as it will be hurtful to you and her. So, book a couple of sessions with a therapist, invite your mother for one or two, and then have some more sessions to work out the information that came out of those meetings. You can get past this.