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by Abigail Van Buren

Friends Add to Woman's Grief by Not Being There for Her

DEAR ABBY: I'm a retired woman living in a condo complex that houses mostly seniors. During the eight years I have lived here, I've always participated in several monthly social events, and have served on the condo association board. I know most of the other residents and count many of them as friends.

A couple of years ago, my dad moved in with me so I could care for him. The early evening he passed away, there were many emergency vehicles. Shockingly, not one of my neighbors came over. The police wouldn't leave me alone, and it took a while for another relative to get here. The next day, a neighborhood representative called to ask me what had happened.

Am I right in feeling hurt that my friends didn't care enough to check on things right away? They knew my situation. -- HURT IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR HURT: The reason many people would stay away from a scene like you describe might be that, because a lot was going on, they didn't want to intrude. Before jumping to conclusions about why your friends didn't contact you immediately, ask them why they didn't and give them an opportunity to explain.

Read more in: Death | Friends & Neighbors