Life Advice



Ask Amy: Tragic loss brings on a strange family demand

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You should add that you have been seeing a grief counselor, and that the counseling has helped you. The Compassionate Friends (, or their local hospice center will have recommendations for them. Once you’ve read the letter and are satisfied with it, send it to them. Understand that this repeated entreaty might be their way of coping with their own loss.

Dear Amy: I just received an invitation for my close friend’s baby shower, next month.

While she and I have diligently attended each other’s events in the past, I don’t feel comfortable attending her baby shower due to COVID-19 concerns.

I’m the new mom of a six-month old baby. I work from home. My only childcare is my mother, who is in her 60s.

I have not left my house (aside from two visits with the pediatrician) since the beginning of the pandemic. I even get my groceries delivered.

I’m gravely concerned for the health of my family (especially my baby and my mom). I don’t want to run the risk of contracting the virus at the baby shower and I also don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings.


What do you think I should do?


Dear Torn: I am surprised by the number of queries I receive from people who seem to believe that an invitation creates a rock-solid commitment that they then must try to “get out of.”

An invitation does not tie you to the railroad tracks. Your good friend is inviting you to her shower because she likely attended your baby shower (and other events in your life). She may assume that you won’t be able to attend, but if she hadn’t invited you, you might feel excluded.


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