Life Advice



Ask Amy: Near the end, a friend withdraws

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: You've been running letters about what to do for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

When my wife was given less than two months to live, I was faced with the decision of how to handle those two months.

I threw a major party for her to celebrate her life. More than 125 guests conveyed to her how she had affected their lives. After her funeral, everyone commented on what a wonderful gift they were given when they had the chance to help celebrate the life they had with her.

I knew how it had comforted her during her remaining days.

I can't take credit for the idea. I can take credit for celebrating her life (instead of mourning it) before she died.

– Thomas

Dear Thomas: This celebration was a touching and tender gift for everyone involved.

(June 2011)

Dear Amy: My brother recently died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.


I was most grateful for two letters from friends that he had the chance to read before his death. They reminded him of shared memories, highlighted his most special qualities and reiterated how much he meant to them. They said how much they loved him and how they would miss him. He shared them with me so proudly.

– Another Reader

Dear Reader: This sort of warmth and affection can be expressed even at a distance.

(June 2011)


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




Bill Day Pickles Mike Lester Aunty Acid Mike Peters Non Sequitur