Ask Amy: I never told them my wife died a year ago

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

DEAR AMY: I’m in a bind.

A year ago, my wife died. At the time, I told only our close friends. It was hard enough telling them, much less anyone else.

It’s still difficult for me to talk about.

Now I’m getting announcements about life events from the friends that I didn’t tell, about their new grandchildren, or of their daughters or sons getting married.

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I don’t know what to tell them. I want to congratulate them, but I also feel that they deserve to be told about my wife.

It doesn’t seem right to reply to their wonderful news with my tragic news. I don’t know what to do. Can you help?

Wondering Widower

DEAR WONDERING: Yes, you should start to tell people about your wife’s death. If you can’t bring yourself to do this under any circumstances, I wonder if you can appoint a surrogate to handle this. If you have an intimate friend who you think might be particularly good at this, I think anyone who knows you and loves you would be happy to take on this task in order to help you through it.

Otherwise, write out a little script for yourself. Work on it until it sounds the way you want it to sound.

Maybe this will get you started: “Congratulations on your new grandchild. This is great news, and I know this will mark a new and joyful chapter for you. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch recently, but unfortunately I have sad news of my own to share…”

I’m very sorry you are going through this. Keep in mind that sharing this news gives people the opportunity to express their sympathy, memories and love for you and your late wife. Receiving this outpouring might be hard for you in the moment, but I do believe you will feel better in the long run.

DEAR AMY: A dear friend of mine of many years got angry with me and treated me very poorly. She apologized, I accepted and we moved on.

I don’t want to lose the friendship; however, I am on edge around her because I am afraid of doing something else that might set her off.

I don’t know how to handle this.

I am even fearful of trying to discuss this with her.

Do you have any suggestions?

Embarrassed in NY

DEAR EMBARRASSED: You don’t seem to have …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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