DEAR ABBY: A lifelong friend of mine has died unexpectedly. Because he was my age, this brought up issues of my own mortality. We'd had our ups and downs over 25 years, but he moved cross-country to the same city as I'm in and was there for many happy and sad life events, including the deaths of my remaining immediate family and his parents.
I have a wonderful wife and amazing children. We are pretty active and have stressful jobs, so there is little time to be engaged, which leaves me feeling guilty about being less than 100 percent for her and the kids. We have a newborn, and he is a star among stars for me, so I feel even more need to be present at all times.
My friend's death has brought up painful feelings I thought I was over -- like the feeling of being an "orphan" (even though I have extended family, I have no immediate family left). Losing someone my age has hit me hard, which I honestly didn't anticipate. I know I'm focusing on the wrong things, like some missed opportunities, but I can't seem to move past them. I feel so drained and useless. Any help would be appreciated. -- MISSING MY FRIEND IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR MISSING: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your good friend. The death of someone close can affect people in many different ways. For some, the reminder that life isn't infinite can trigger them to re-evaluate their relationships or how they have been living their lives.
Because you seem to be unable to move past your feelings of abandonment, which many people experience after the loss of their parents, consider joining a grief support group to help you to work through some of these thoughts you are experiencing. However, if that isn't enough, a licensed therapist may help you to regain your balance.