Annie Lane: Starting a new chapter

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Dear Annie: I just finished reading your response to the “Mother of Little Valentine.” I am writing this with tears in my eyes.

How truly beautiful and gentle your response was to Valentine’s Mother. I hope it brought her some comfort.

So thank you for your beautiful words of comfort.

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— Words of Comfort

Dear Comfort: Thank you for your letter.

• • •

Dear Annie: I have a suggestion for the grandparent who has a grandchild who doesn’t want to hug. When I was a new stepmother, my stepdaughters did not want to hug me. I thought that was perfectly understandable.

What I did was read them a lot of stories and look at picture books together. They gradually got comfortable with me and enjoyed the stories. I could then give them a hug just naturally.

After a while, I was getting hugs.

— It Just Took

Some Time

Dear Took the Time: Reading stories and spending quality time with children is a great way to get them to hug you naturally. Thank you for sharing this suggestion.

• • •

Dear Annie: I was a dedicated and loyal husband for 23 years. I lost my wife to cancer, and it was devastating, to say the least. I’ve been alone now for a few years and have been struggling extremely hard, as I know what I want and am just not sure how to get there without creating a whole new world of heartache.

I realized early in life that I’m attracted to both males and females. I experimented a few times in my teen years but have always been more toward the female side. I’m in my early 50s and have quite a number of friends and family pushing me to date, and they have gone so far as trying to set me up.

My heart wants to pursue a male companion, but I’m both scared and ashamed at the same time, not to mention I have absolutely no clue as to how to go about it. I feel like I should just sit out the rest of my time here and not break anyone’s heart other than my own. It just seems like it would be easier that way. We all deserve a perfect love story, and I already had mine for 23 years, but I think the shock and fallout of my desire is not worth losing family or friends.

— Hopelessly Lost

Dear Hopeless: I am very sorry for the loss of your beloved wife. You should always listen to your heart. While I have no doubt that the people trying to set you up have your best intentions in mind, and are just trying to help you with grief, you might just not be ready. Please be patient with yourself as you go back out into the dating world.

It is your life, so if you want to pursue a male companion, then do so. Healing from grief takes time. If any of your friends or family shun you for your sexual preferences, you should recognize that it is their problem, not yours.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to