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by Abigail Van Buren

Decorum in Doctor's Office Seems to Be in Short Supply

DEAR ABBY: I need help for my friend "Edie." Her mother died of cancer two years ago, and she's still grieving. She has her mother's obituary taped on the wall in front of her computer at work. Every conversation with her includes references to how her mom acted, cooked, worked, etc.

Edie's father has a new female friend, which upsets Edie to no end. Her 4-year-old called the new girlfriend "Maw-Maw" and Edie scolded him saying, "That is NOT your Maw-Maw, and she'll never BE your Maw-Maw!"

Abby, I don't think the little boy even remembers his grandma. He was only 2 when she died. Edie wears her mother's clothes and still hasn't cleaned out her mom's home. Edie's dad is scared to for fear of upsetting her.

What, as a friend, can I do to help her? -- STANDING BY IN KENTUCKY

DEAR STANDING BY: While grieving is an individual process, it appears that your friend has become stuck. It would be a kindness to tell her that you know she is hurting, and to suggest that she consult a grief counselor or psychotherapist to help lessen her obvious pain.