Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sibling’s spousal diss shakes sister to the core

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

They sat with her and often said nothing. Sometimes they chatted. Sometimes they shared a meal or took a nap together. Sometimes they just dropped by to say "Hi" and share a quick hug.

They provided a presence that said more than words could possibly convey.

That presence lifted our daughter's spirit more than anything else, especially toward the end.

Whether it's a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one, or any other unfortunate major life event, people don't need to know the "right" things to say.

Just showing up, and thereby reassuring the person suffering that they are still loved and are a part of life, a part of the world going on around them, is a greater gift.

– A Grateful Parent

Dear Parent: Thank you so much for sharing this heartbreaking experience. You’ve offered a very deep and important lesson: It’s OK not to know what to say. But life really is about showing up.


Dear Amy: Thank you so much for devoting your entire column on Veterans Day to Vietnam veterans and their families. Every single letter brought tears to my eyes.

– Grateful

Dear Grateful: So very many veterans contacted me, providing their very moving and valuable testimony. I’m extremely grateful to them all.


(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.




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