Life Advice



Ask Amy: Reconnection inspires worrisome conduct

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

While I want him to enjoy his day, I know the feelings are mixed with missing him and guilt of celebrating his birth on an anniversary of his father’s passing.

What are some appropriate messages I could use in lieu of the standard “Happy Birthday”?

– Wondering

Dear Wondering: This is tough. I suggest that you convey: “I understand this might be a day of big and mixed emotions for you, but I hope you find good ways to celebrate. I’m always thinking of you, and I carry many very happy memories of your father.”

Dear Amy: A recent statement in your column, which I read in Seattle, struck hard!

You wrote: “You mourn because you experienced the privilege of being loved.”


As a widow of five years, and someone whose husband had dementia for five years before that, it really hit home. I realized that I was so lucky to have him for the time that I did. Sometimes it seems like a dream.

I have passed this phrase on to my grief group.

Four of us have been together since 2017, and we continued to meet through the pandemic.

We all agreed that we were privileged and lucky to have been loved.


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