Dear Amy: I know you are an animal lover, so I would appreciate your perspective on this.
I am a veterinarian and always offer my sincere condolences when a client loses a pet. I send a card, I donate to an animal charity, and I often send an email or a phone call.
Recently I lost my beloved dog and was a bit appalled by the reactions of people I have known for many years.
Very few offered their condolences. The general attitude was that I “should be used to it”.
Amy, a vet never gets used to it. It’s such a helpless feeling to not be able to care for your own pet, even when you logically know everything has been done.
I try not to hold a grudge about it, but it’s hard. – Grace
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Dear Grace: I’m so sorry. Anyone who has said goodbye to a beloved pet mourns the loss of a companion and a bond of friendship that is very difficult to describe but should be easy to understand. Losing that connection causes a special kind of grief.
I will quote the late great poet Mary Oliver, whose collection “Dog Songs: Poems” (2015, Penguin) is a tender, touching and funny tribute to the dogs that crossed her life:
“Because of the joy of the dog, ours is increased.
You shouldn’t have to interrupt your own grief to continue educating humans about animal loss, and yet, if the people on your world aren’t giving you what you need right now, maybe you should let them know.
You might say, “My own experience of treating animals hasn’t hardened my heart to the suffering and death of a pet—and certainly my own dog.
“I’ll never get used to that kind of loss, and I hope you can relate to that. In fact, I could use a little TLC myself right now.
Dear Amy: I started dating my husband in 2012. We have been married for six years now.
We have both been married in the past and have adult children.
He and his ex were married for 13 years. They have two boys that I helped raise. They are now adults.
My husband’s ex-wife is a wonderful person, she really is. She is very close to my mother-in-law and stays in her life, which is good.
My problem is that I’ve only just started meeting the “family”, and I still don’t know them all.
Whenever there is a family reception on his side, my husband’s ex is always invited.
I feel like no one will ever know me because she is always there at every function.
We have to go to a graduation party, and she is also invited.
I don’t have a problem with her personally, but I would like to have family experiences with just this… family.
Am I too much? – The woman now
Dear wife: Your husband’s ex has remained very close to his family, and that could be a nice outcome for families who can get by. Most cannot.
But think of it this way: if she was a sister-in-law or a close friend of the family who was present at every family gathering, her presence wouldn’t prevent you from getting to know everyone more than the presence of anyone else. .
Basically, I’m suggesting that you ignore his status as your husband’s longtime ex and focus on your own behavior.
Be cool, be calm, ask good questions, and let your in-laws see your shine.
You’ll further cement these relationships by welcoming some of your in-laws into your home in small groups (you don’t have to invite your husband’s ex). Gradually, in the absence of these large gatherings, you will build experiences with them individually.
Dear Amy: I read with interest your response to “Greg from Minnesota”, who was concerned about increased pollution from idling cars in parking lots.
The writer mentioned knocking on the offender’s window to confront them.
If I gave him advice, in addition to the statistics you cited, I would say: “No!
You don’t know who you are facing. Are they angry, frustrated, intoxicated, drugged, carrying a gun? You don’t know how they will react if confronted! – Concerned
Dear concerned: Absolutely! Based on the wording of his letter, I assumed that “Greg” was no longer personally confronting people. I hope so.