DEAR ABBY: My mother committed suicide when I was a child. She was severely depressed, and although she sought professional help, the worst happened.
When conversing with acquaintances, the subject often turns to family, and I will say that my mother "passed away" when I was young. Most of the time they proceed to ask me how she died.
Abby, this is a personal family matter. I do not wish to reveal what really happened. I usually reply that she was very ill, but some nosy people persist in pressing for more information. How should I respond without being rude? -- LOYAL OHIO READER
DEAR READER: You're under no obligation to reveal personal information that makes you uncomfortable. Simply say, "That's a very personal question, and I'd rather not discuss it." Then change the subject.