Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grieving friend wants practical help

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: During the height of the pandemic last year, each of my (divorced) parents died suddenly, two months apart.

As a result, I was left with two difficult estates to wade through on my own.

My childhood girlfriend has only seen me once in seven-and-a-half months, even though she is well aware that I have no help from siblings or immediate family.

I feel very hurt that she believes that "praying for me" is enough.

In my time of need, shouldn't she be expected to do something practical?

– Wondering


Dear Wondering: This is such a tough situation, and I’m so sorry you are experiencing it.

Yes, good friends should have a reasonable expectation of assistance when times are tough. And yes, good friends sometimes let each other down.

However, you don’t mention actually asking for help. If there is a job you believe your friend might be well-suited for – for instance, driving boxes to the donation center — ask her.

I have come to understand that unless people have personally faced this sort of challenge themselves, they don’t have any idea of how physically exhausting and upsetting it is to clear out parents’ homes.


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