Life Advice



Ask Amy: Gal pals show their mean side

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I found out two years ago that we have a half-brother. I reached out to him, but never heard back.

Only two of my siblings know. One is very upset and angry (I think he just wants to protect our deceased father's reputation). The other sibling seems indifferent.

I'm very passionate about meeting our brother.

Finally, last week I reached out to his wife.

She responded and told me that he has only a couple of weeks (perhaps a month) to live.

I believe all of my siblings have a right to know and decide if they want contact with him before he dies, but I'm confused about what to do.


Shortly before his own death, our father met this son and told him that neither my mom nor his other children knew about him – and he wanted to keep it that way.

Should I tell them and risk the emotional issues it will cause for them – or not tell them and deny them the knowledge of another brother?

– Desperate and Confused

Dear Desperate: It says a lot about how tightly your family holds onto secrets that some siblings have known about this half-brother for a long time, but haven’t disclosed it to the others.


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