Life Advice



Ask Amy: Near the end, a friend withdraws

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Brokenhearted Old Friend

Dear Brokenhearted: When facing the end of life, some people withdraw from all but a very small circle of people. You are right; this is heartbreaking, but this is what this individual wants to do. If you are in touch with your friend on Facebook, you also should be able to contact at least one of her family members through Facebook to see how she is.

Remember that they are also in a crisis moment in their lives.

Hospice care is a great gift to the dying and those who love them. A hospice counselor could speak with you, so at the very least you would understand the process in order not to take this personally, and to ease your own pain and feelings of loss.

Your local hospital should be able to connect you with a hospice volunteer.

(April 2011)


Dear Amy: "Brokenhearted Old Friend" was devastated when her dying friend withdrew all contact from her. I had a similar experience with a relative. I didn't understand why this person would choose to distance herself from many near and dear to her as she approached the end of her life, but a hospice volunteer told me that this is common.

– Sad Relative

Dear Sad: Respecting the wishes of a dying person – even as they draw inward – is one of the burdens of being a survivor.

(May 2011)


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