DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is terminally ill and who has talked about her illness every step of the way. She is not talking so much now, because she has taken a turn for the worse. When other people ask about her, I'm not sure what to say. I am a private person. I would never want to talk about myself if I get sick, so I don't really want to talk about her. It feels wrong. At the same time, though, I know she likes to keep everybody informed. And she can't talk right now because she is really sick. How can I do what she would like without feeling like a gossip? -- Worried About My Friend, Denver
DEAR WORRIED ABOUT MY FRIEND: I am sorry to hear about your friend's illness. I have learned that when loved ones are not well, it affects far more people than the person who is sick. Just as your friend has her way of dealing with her illness, you have the right to have your own comfort level regarding sharing details about her. To honor her, you should discourage others from calling her right now. You can acknowledge that she is unwell. Recommend that friends write her cards or send emails, if you think she looks at her computer. You can also refer people to other friends who may feel more comfortable talking about her condition.