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by Abigail Van Buren

Recently Bereaved Shouldn't Be Ignored at Holiday Time

DEAR ABBY: Years ago, it was considered improper to send a holiday card to a friend or family member who experienced the loss of a child or spouse during the year.

What is correct today? And what about an invitation to a party? -- CAREFUL IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CAREFUL: If there was a "rule" that people who have suffered a loss should not receive a holiday card, I have never heard of it. One would think that those who are grieving would appreciate knowing they were being remembered.

As to inviting the person to a party -- not everyone grieves in the same way or for the same length of time. Unless religious custom prevents it, if you think the friend or relative might enjoy the event, by all means extend an invitation. The invitee can always refuse if it's too soon.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Etiquette & Ethics | Death