DEAR ABBY: What do you say when a friend's son has committed a horrific crime? Does one say, "I'm sorry" or "Call me," or merely pat them on the shoulder and move on? Or, what?
I know she is suffering and blames herself for his crime. How do I even approach her? I knew her quite well until I moved away and started my life on an opposite coast. Telling her what her son did is not her fault somehow seems trite.
I'm sure other people have been in this kind of situation. I found out about the young man's crime from the news media. I haven't been in contact with his mother for some time, which makes me feel awkward. -- LOST FOR WORDS
DEAR LOST: The time to be a friend is when somebody needs one. I'm sure your friend could use some emotional support right now. If you have her phone number, call her and tell her you know she's hurting, and she's in your thoughts and prayers. Tell her you are with her in spirit and hope she knows you care about her and her son. Then listen. There's not much more you can do than that.