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.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My baby daddy is living with me and our son. He doesn’t help at all, while I work two jobs and attend Queensborough College. He doesn't work and goes out whenever he wants. I’ve tried talking to him about finding something to do, but that conversation always ends with things being broken or me being hit. He doesn’t pay any attention to our son, and it breaks my heart; all my son wants is his father’s attention. I think it’s time to kick him out of the house because he is toxic. How do I get him out of my house without violence? -- Mommy in Danger, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR MOMMY IN DANGER: This is one of those times when you probably need the support of law enforcement. If your son’s father already gets violent with you whenever you mention him accepting more responsibility, asking him to move out is sure to create an incendiary situation. My recommendation is that you ask one of your family members and an officer from your local precinct to be present when you invite him to move out. You can apologize for being so extreme in your actions, but explain to him that it is because of his previous violent behavior with you. You will likely need to stay in touch with the local police to ensure that you are protected from your boyfriend should he try to come back.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)