DEAR HARRIETTE: My family and I are planning a big birthday celebration for our dad. He is turning 85, and we want to honor him while he is alive. As we have been going over the invitation list, we came to some people who have recently lost their parents. Is it insensitive to invite the surviving adult children of my father’s friends who have died this year? We don’t want to be rude, but at the same time, we have been close to this family since we were little. It seems wrong to exclude these people. What do you think? -- Invite List
DEAR INVITE LIST: You should include these loved ones on your invitation list. They will decide whether they feel up to joining the celebration. It may be perfect for them to participate in this moment of fellowship when people are connecting and being joyful because someone has reached this milestone. Of course, it won’t take away the grief of having lost their own parents. They may have moments at your father’s function when they well up with emotion. That’s fine.
By all means, extend the invitation to those people. You may want to call them and personally invite them. Let them know that you continue to hold them in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their parents. But make it clear that you hope they will join you.