Life Advice



Ask Amy: Estrangement follows police 'wellness check'

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

They accuse us all of "triangulation" for not supporting their decision. It has impacted every possible family event: weddings, birthdays, holidays, baby showers, funerals, family reunions, vacations, and casual gatherings. They boycott the annual family reunion.

Can't sadness and parental grief and despondency be discussed, managed, and supported, without launching a paramilitary response?

– Surviving Sister

Dear Surviving: Your two sisters misread and overreacted to your brother’s situation in the moment, and I agree that they have handled things very badly, especially in the aftermath of this episode.

It’s ironic that they both cared so much for your brother’s welfare, and they are reacting to their own actions by not caring at all for his welfare now.

They might have said to “Brian”: “We were panicking. We had no idea of what the police response would be, and we feel terrible for putting you through additional trauma and strain. We’re so sorry!”


Instead, they are doing what people who feel cornered by their mistakes often do: They are doubling down.

Because you are the one who wrote to me, I think you should make an effort to reach out to these sisters – on your own and representing only your point of view. If they want to come to the family table, they will have to find a way, and you can offer to help – but you cannot do it for them.

Brian, of course, gets to make his own choice regarding any contact with these sisters.

Dear Amy: I am a financially independent adult.


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