DEAR MISS MANNERS: My closest friend, who is 23 years my senior and does not have children of her own, has shared with me on my recent birthday that she and her second husband have included me in their will. I’ve been told that I will be receiving one-fourth of their estate -- an equal share to her husband’s three children.
Firstly, I have discovered with this announcement that the thought of losing my best friend is utterly heartbreaking. Wrapping my creative mind around her not being in my life has been a journey in itself.
I have already begun a small grieving process, as well as shoring my strength for speaking at her funeral. Preparation, I know, is healthy, builds character, and will allow me to discuss different aspects of her passing while she is still vibrant.
The announcement has now had almost four weeks to settle in, and I feel I must write a letter of thanks or acknowledgment. But I do not want to insult her generosity. I feel I cannot discuss this with anyone close, for the knowledge of wealth transference seems to bring out the worst in people. I’m looking for honest advisement on how to proceed.
GENTLE READER: Is your friend’s death imminent? Or is she merely steeling you for the inevitable?
It seems to Miss Manners that you have indicated the latter -- and that you need not work yourself up quite so intensely, quite so soon. With any luck, it will be a long journey -- and yours is a difficult momentum to keep up.
However, since you are so moved, you may certainly write a letter telling your friend how much she means to you, and that while you do not like to think about losing her, her announcement has touched you deeply.
And then let it go. Surely, neither you nor your friend want to spend the duration of your relationship fretting about its demise.