Life Advice



Ask Amy: Memorial service brings on acute anxiety

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

However, my wife and her siblings may feel that I am being disrespectful if I do not attend.

All of the other family members are currently planning to attend.

Do you have any guidance?

– Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: I venture that your reluctance to make this trip is based more on your free-floating anxiety than on specific risk factors to your own health – understanding that the overall fear of contracting COVID is overwhelming – for you and for many.

The pandemic has pushed many of us into a state of high-alert, and existing in that state, especially while we are also isolated, is particularly exhausting and paralyzing.


I can’t advise you as to whether to take this on. You are obviously very anxious about it; you obviously don’t want to do it. Tiptoeing out into the world in stages would be easier on you than hopping onto a plane for a long flight.

All the same, although you could be exposed to COVID virtually anywhere, I’m not aware of any major outbreaks within the last year occurring as the result of flying.

Staying home is always safest. Staying home prevents you from being hit by a drunk driver on the highway. Not being around others will inoculate you from colds, allergies, and emotional wear-and-tear.

But as Robert Frost famously wrote, “…the best way out is always through.”


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