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DEAR ABBY: I have lost three friends, and I'm hoping you can tell me where I went wrong. If this had happened just once, I would suspect that I was overly sensitive. But three times?

These three friends are now widows. When they lost their husbands, my husband and I sent condolences, attended the funerals and attempted to be supportive. Since losing their husbands, Friend No. 1 has been exceptionally cool, Friend No. 2 left me abruptly in the middle of a sentence, and Friend No. 3 snipes at me at what seems every opportunity. What is wrong? -- PUZZLED IN WISCONSIN

DEAR PUZZLED: Your friends may simply be grieving, or they may be envious that you still have your husband. Or each could have a different reason. I don't know these women.

Frankly, your letter is unusual, given the fact that more often I hear from widows who tell me they are sad because the couples with whom they used to socialize have now "dropped" THEM.

Make another attempt to include these friends in a social outing or invite each over for a home-cooked meal. If they refuse -- or accept, yet still seem cool or unfriendly -- then leave them alone, and rest assured that you made the effort to reach out to them.

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