DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend is in a coma, and his pregnant wife and unborn child are dead.
My best friend "Jose" and his wife were so excited for their baby girl to join the world -- they even had a baby shower last weekend. They were driving to their doctor’s appointment when another car hit theirs, and their car flipped. His mother called me and told me to go to the hospital immediately, where I found out the news. I’m so heartbroken. How do things like this happen? My best friend's wife's funeral is in a few days, and I can’t get myself to go. Does this make me a bad person? -- Heartbroken, Stamford, Connecticut
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: As hard as it is for you to drum up the fortitude to attend the funeral, please do it. It will mean so much to their extended family for you to be there. Believe it or not, it will also mean a lot to you -- if not now, down the line. You are in shock. This is devastating news. Ask a friend or loved one to go to the funeral with you to support you through this difficult time.
As you honor the lives of your friend’s wife and unborn child, stay connected to him. Pray that he will come through. Go to visit him. Stay in touch with his family. If he does awaken, he will need your loving attention for what will surely be a challenging journey to wellness.