Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Is Concerned About Environmental Impact of Annual Memorial

DEAR ABBY: I have a wonderful friend who tragically lost her husband 10 years ago. Since then, she and his family have done a balloon launch celebrating his birthday every year. It is sweet and beautiful, and I understand the significance. However, over the years it has become common knowledge how detrimental these massive balloon releases can be to the environment and wildlife.

I would like to suggest trying a different way to celebrate, but I know, even after all these years, she's still mourning and very sensitive about losing her soulmate, so I don't want to upset her. Should I keep my mouth shut, or should I say something? -- REMEMBERING IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR REMEMBERING: You can say something, but when you do, rather than making it a statement, it might be less accusatory and better received to pose it as a question. Example: "Have you considered celebrating his life by doing 'X,' which would have less of an impact on wildlife and the environment?"

Read more in: Death | Friends & Neighbors