Life Advice



Ask Amy: Near the end, a friend withdraws

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Surviving loss.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at, where I post a favorite Q&A, as well as commentary about what I’m reading, watching, and listening to.

I’ll be back with fresh columns in two weeks.

Dear Amy: Last year a good friend was diagnosed with cancer and embarked on chemotherapy treatment.

I let her know I would be there for whatever she needed, and until recently our friendship didn't seem to change. She had always been very active, and we continued to spend time together. I took my cue from her as to whether she wanted to talk about her illness.


Last month she got the news that her chemo was failing and that her situation seems terminal. She suddenly ceased all communication with me – no answers to emails or phone messages.

I don't know her other friends well enough to have contact information, so I don't know if she has withdrawn from everyone.

She does have very strong, close family support, so at least I know she's not alone in this. But I can't help but feel that she has abandoned me. Not knowing how she is, and not having contact information for her family (they all seem to be unlisted), I'm in the dark as to whether she's at home or in hospice or what, and it's breaking my heart.

I guess all I can do is continue to email, send cards and post encouraging messages on her Facebook page. Any other suggestions?


swipe to next page



Crankshaft Chris Britt Carpe Diem Between Friends Cul de Sac Cathy