Life Advice



Ask Amy: Overwhelmed mom wants to pack it in

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Horrified: Here are a few things NOT to say: “What happened?” “How did she do it?” “Why did she do it?” “Who found her?” “Did she leave a note?” “How could she do this to you and her children?”

Do NOT post about her death on social media unless/until her family does. Respect their choices.

You can express versions of the following: “Oh no, I’m so sorry. I’m completely in shock. Would you like me come over? Are there any friends or family members you would like me to call for you, so you don’t have to do that?”

Attend any services they might have. Share fond memories with other family members.

After that, keep in touch with your cousin. Ask nothing of her. Simply reach out and say, “Hi, I’m thinking about you. I’m here if you ever want to talk about anything and for any reason.”

Your words won’t matter as much as your willingness to be present with your cousin through this sorrow-filled time.

Dear Amy: "Open and Lost in the South" wanted an open relationship with her boyfriend, and said he seemed fine with it until she told him she'd slept with multiple people.

Open and poly relationships work because of consent and transparency.


If "Lost" was having multiple partners before her boyfriend agreed to it, she wasn't being open – she was cheating.

The real problem is she deeply violated his trust. That hurts all relationships.

– Poly Guy

Dear Poly Guy: Exactly.


(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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