DEAR ABBY: My first long-term girlfriend ghosted me. She died soon afterward, and I'm left with a gaping lack of closure. I'm 19. We had dated for four years and we were best friends. We didn't live together, but planned to in the coming months. I intended to marry her.
One day out of the blue, she cut me off. She had been acting depressed, but convinced me she was fine when I (gingerly) confronted her about it. She ghosted me the next day. She blocked me, changed her number and refused to speak to me when I showed up at her house. Everything to my knowledge had been fine between us.
Weeks later, she had a terrible accident at work, and died in the hospital. I learned about it only afterward, from her mother. Her parents have denied me access to her room, to some shared personal and sentimental belongings and wouldn't let me adopt her pets, which were sent to the pound. Most painful for me, they asked that I not come to her funeral. Her family believes that because we weren't married and we hadn't been dating at the time of her death that I had no place with her things after her death, even though we were best friends who spent almost half a decade together.
I never got to speak to her, say goodbye or receive any answers. My family isn't being kind about the situation, either. They feel the same way as her family does. I feel like a widow. I have many questions that will always be left unanswered. How do I move on from this? -- MOURNING IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR MOURNING: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. It is regrettable that your family hasn't been supportive during this difficult time. A way to move forward would be through grief counseling. Your doctor (or your family physician) should be able to give you a referral. However, if that's not possible, consult your religious adviser or even the funeral director who handled your girlfriend's service, because that person may have a resource for you.