Life Advice



Ask Amy: Retired first responder needs comfort, now

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I believe a multi-pronged approach would help you, including a clinical assessment regarding your depression, individual counseling, peer support from other first responders, and mindfulness work on your own (meditation, movement, and spending time each day in nature).

Also, you are grieving! For many people, this is what intense grieving feels like. Sadness plus anger equals grouchiness. Self-care for you would involve learning how to be as gentle and generous toward yourself as you have always been toward others.

I hope you will let your family soothe and take care of you for a while.

The Code Green Campaign ( was founded out of concern for the unique mental health challenges of first responders. They host a helpful state-by-state database of mental health professionals who work primarily with first responders, as well as a Facebook group.

I hope you will keep in mind that you are strongest when you recognize that you need help, and that you absolutely deserve to receive it.

Dear Amy: I’m responding to the question from “Exasperated Mom,” regarding children wearing masks in school.


My mother died in 1957 in the Asian flu pandemic. I caught the virus at school (I was in kindergarten) and passed it on to her.

We lived in Aurora, Ohio.

My teacher didn’t know there was at least one student in her classroom who passed it on to me, and perhaps other students. No one was masked.

I remember being quite sick, and I remember my shock and sadness as a 5-year-old on the morning that my mother died.


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