DEAR ABBY: My family has suffered a great loss. My older sister died by suicide. My younger sister's best friend "Carrie" drove four hours from Michigan to be with our family. From the day after we found out and for almost a week, Carrie was by our side, comforting us, helping with arrangements and anything else that needed to be done. She even worked all night with our old family videos to digitize, edit and set them to music so it would be done in time for the wake.
Now, as we are beginning to write thank-you notes to all of those who were there for us, my family is wondering how we can express our gratitude to her for her support during this awful time. We would like to do or give her something special because we truly consider her to be a part of our family, but we don't know what. -- APPRECIATIVE IN THE EAST
DEAR APPRECIATIVE: The head of the family or your younger sister should write Carrie a letter telling her how much her kindness is appreciated and telling her she is now truly a member of the family. I'm sure it would mean the world to her. In addition, consider giving her something that belonged to your older sister, such as a piece of jewelry. Your younger sister should be the person to select it. A keepsake would, I am sure, be deeply appreciated and treasured.