DEAR HARRIETTE: My birthday was in early March. On the night of my birthday, a good friend of mine decided to take me out to dinner. I wasn't feeling very good that night, so I asked her if she could take me home early. She dropped me off back at my house, and I asked her to text me when she got home. Later, I found out that she got into a horrible car accident about an hour after dropping me off. She messed up her spine pretty badly.
I'm having a really hard time facing her and facing the guilt that I'm feeling. I’m feeling guilty because if she hadn't come to see me that night, maybe she would not have been in a car accident. She could've been killed, and that is also very hard to think about. I have no idea what to say to her or how to be there for her. I fear that she may resent me for avoiding her. What should I say? What should I do? -- Guilty Conscience
DEAR GUILTY CONSCIENCE: Not reaching out to your friend and doing anything you can to support her is what should make you feel guilty -- not the fact that she left you and had the accident. Push past your discomfort, and think about her. You called her a good friend. Now it’s time for you to step up and be exactly that. She needs you. Be there for her.
Visit her. Apologize for not being there sooner. Don’t go into your feelings of guilt. That’s about you. The focus needs to be on her now. Tell her how sorry you are that this happened, and ask how you can help her.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)