Life Advice



Ask Amy: A sudden death brings on sudden grief

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My brother, "Harold" died unexpectedly from an infection in December.

It was a shock to me and our other brother, because he had always been the healthiest one of us.

I have never been close to my sister-in-law, and their adult kids are off living their lives.

I sent a condolence card to each of them but got nothing in return.

They are the only family I have, so I am at a loss as to how to stay connected.

What do you suggest?


— Grieving Sister

Dear Grieving: Because your brother died suddenly – during a pandemic – his wife and children may be reeling in their own orbits, unable to be expansive enough to understand that you, too, are grieving.

In less isolated times, when people are able to gather together to mourn, family members can circle together and comfort each other personally.

I’m so sorry you are experiencing such acute grief.


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