Life Advice



Ask Amy: A heartbreaking diagnosis changes everything

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My dearest friend in the world was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a relatively young age.

We met when we were new moms, and while my family moved far away after only a few years, we have maintained an incredibly close and meaningful relationship through all the joys and sorrows of life for over 30 years now. She is my rock.

The friend who knows the good, the bad, and the ugly. And vice versa.

And now I can hear she has regressed a little every time I talk to her on the phone, and our distance is too far for me to see her regularly.

How do I handle the inevitable changes? How do I let her know I love her when she doesn’t recognize my voice anymore? How do I maintain any kind of relationship long distance? I have no map for our last journey and it is breaking my heart.

Any advice would mean so much to me.


Thank you,

– Left Behind

Dear Left Behind: My first suggestion is that you should visit your friend in person as soon as possible. Book your trip today. Bring photos to look at together, take walks, listen to music, and simply be present and experience your time together with gratitude.

I think it would be a good idea to book a room nearby, stay for a few days, and keep your daily visits short – if that works best for her.


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