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by Abigail Van Buren

Subject of Uncle Being Gay Never Came Up With Nephew

DEAR ABBY: I know a girl through work I'll call Lydia. She is a hard worker and a great mom and wife. She has a loving husband and three great children under 19. Her youngest just started driving. Lydia hosts all the parties and holidays. Everyone thinks she has a perfect life, and she's the Rock of Gibraltar. If anyone has a problem, they go to her.

Not long after I started working here, there was a terrible tragedy in Lydia's family (it didn't involve her husband or children, but another relative). She is very depressed and doesn't seem to be able to pull herself out of it. I know everyone is busy with their own lives, but how can I get her friends -- or anyone -- to help her through this?

Abby, she is such a beautiful and kind person, I feel terrible for her. I have only been at this job six months, and I don't really know anyone. She never talks about it at work. But I can see the difference in her. -- LENDING A HAND IN NEW YORK

DEAR LENDING: You are kind to want to help Lydia. Because you are concerned about her, speak to her privately. Tell her how terrific you think she is, and you know she has been going through a difficult time. Then tell her that if she wants to talk or there is anything you can do to help, all she has to do is let you know.