Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dear Abby:

My husband and I went to a funeral to pay our respects to our neighbor and his family for the loss of his father. I had met the parents on a few prior occasions; my husband had not.

As I was expressing my sympathy and talking with the widow about her husband and their life together, she became a little teary-eyed -- so I continued to stand with her and hold her hand and speak with her. The incident lasted about two or three minutes.

My husband feels I should have only expressed my condolences and quickly moved on. I am mortified that I may have done something inappropriate and caused this woman pain. What should I have done?

Wondering in Pennsylvania

A funeral is not an assembly line. You did the right thing by taking the widow's hand, expressing your condolences, and allowing her to share her feelings. Your husband may have been embarrassed by the grieving woman's display of emotions, but that is his problem, so please don't allow him to make it yours.

Dear Abby:

I want to know if you can become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict. Please don't print my name because I live in a small, conservative community in Ohio.

Nameless in a Red State

Although you cannot become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict, you CAN become addicted to drugs if you hang around with addicts and frequent places where drugs are easily available. (This is one of those situations where you should "just say no" and avoid temptation.)

Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

2005Universal Press Syndicate

© 2005 The Washington Post Company