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by Abigail Van Buren

Invitation To Grieving Friend May Be Welcomed

DEAR ABBY: Would it be rude to invite someone to a festive occasion weeks after he or she lost a loved one? Is there a time frame or an etiquette reference? It seems callous to issue an invitation, but if I didn't, I'd feel like I'm shunning or forgetting the person. I am looking for a mature way to approach this. Have you any thoughts you can offer? -- TREADING LIGHTLY IN N.Y.C.

DEAR TREADING LIGHTLY: Call the person and say you are thinking about him or her, and ask how your friend is doing. During the conversation, allude to the fact that you'll be having a celebration and mention that if he or she is feeling up to it, the invitation is open.

Your friend may surprise you and accept because there is no timetable for grief, and much of the grieving may have been done while the deceased was alive and ailing. However, if your friend declines, at least he/she will know you were thinking about him/her, and that's very important at a time like this.

Read more in: Death | Holidays & Celebrations