DEAR ABBY: I am 25 and dated a woman I'll call "Brenda" for about five years. She dumped me soon after college graduation with no explanation. All she said was she "needed to be alone for a while," but she could see herself marrying me and having kids with me "eventually." I accepted it and tried to move on.
Brenda has stayed in touch for the last two years, but we have not been together or intimate. She calls me nearly every night before she goes to bed. I never call her or go to her house.
I talk to her because I don't want to be rude, but I'd prefer not to. I mean, what's the point? When we split, I told her I didn't want contact, but she seemed so devastated when I said it that I backed off.
Would it be wrong for me to completely cut off communication? How do I do it nicely? I loved Brenda once, but her constant calls don't allow me closure. Even if she asked me now to get back together, I wouldn't. She hurt me when she broke it off with no explanation, and I no longer trust her. What should I do? -- NEEDS CLOSURE IN PHILLY
DEAR NEEDS CLOSURE: Forgive the strong language, but Miss Brenda appears to be somewhat screwed up. You seem like a nice guy -- too nice, in fact. There comes a time in life when we must draw the line when someone hurts us.
The next time Brenda calls to say good night, tell her it's not good night, it's goodbye because you no longer want to dwell in the past. Believe me, you'll be doing yourself a favor.
DEAR ABBY: In cities large and small across the globe, a sad reality occurs year after year. Children die. The causes vary -- an auto accident, suicide, drive-by shooting, fire, illness, war or something completely different. Families, friends and entire towns mourn the deaths of children who have died before they could reach their full potential.
For the past 13 years, The Compassionate Friends, a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child, has sponsored a Worldwide Candle Lighting during the difficult holidays to honor the memory of all children -- no matter their age -- who died too young.
Dear Abby readers, whether or not they have been personally touched by such a tragedy, are invited to remember all children who have died by joining in the Worldwide Candle Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 13. Although officially held for one hour at 7 p.m. local time, this has become an event where hundreds of services in memory of children are held throughout the day around the world.
In the U.S. this includes services in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Dozens of countries are hosts to services. Anyone who is unable to attend is encouraged to light candles in their home, whether alone or with friends and family. Please join us in honoring these children who are loved, missed and always remembered. -- PATRICIA LODER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS
DEAR PATRICIA: I am pleased to help spread the word. Your organization is a valuable resource for families and friends of those who have experienced the loss of a child, and I commend you for the work you do.
Readers, you can locate local services on The Compassionate Friends Web site: � HYPERLINK "http://www.compassionatefriends.org" ��www.compassionatefriends.org� or by calling (toll-free) 877-969-0010. You will also be able to join the thousands of caring individuals who post a memorial message in their online Remembrance Book during the 24-hour period of the Worldwide Candle Lighting and let them know your thoughts are with them.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)