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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Ponders Ending Long Alienation at Friend's Funeral

DEAR ABBY: A former longtime friend, "Gladys," and I have been estranged for the past 10 years. It is a complicated situation, but generally it involved her divorce and later involvement with a married man.

While I am not a prude, there were some moral and ethical breaches on her part which made it uncomfortable for me to be in her company. We stopped calling or seeing each other.

Gladys has now become quite ill and may not survive. My dilemma is whether I should pay my respects to her family at the time of her death. I have known them all for many years. -- REMAINING NAMELESS IN VIRGINIA

DEAR REMAINING NAMELESS: Funerals are supposed to provide comfort for the living, and I don't see how the presence of someone who describes herself as a "former" friend of their loved one would achieve that.

I have a suggestion. Why not pick up the phone, call Gladys and tell her how sorry you were to learn of her illness? Whether you approved of her divorce and affair, you have years of history together, and it would be better for both of you to make peace while there's still time.