Dear Abby:

"Missing My Friend in Indiana" wrote that her young friend had been killed, and wondered if she should write to her friend's parents to tell them what a lovely daughter they had. Your advice was correct: Such a letter would be a great comfort to the parents.

On April 2, 2001, we lost our dear son, Jeff, in a commercial fishing accident. He was on a boat called the Arctic Rose that went down in the Bering Sea. All 15 hands were tragically lost.

We waited four agonizing days before the Coast Guard finally called off the search. During that time, we received a letter from a young woman who knew Jeff in high school. She told us the story of how she met him in class and asked him to a dance. Then she described how special Jeff was and what a good friend he had been to her.

Abby, I read that letter again and again. It gives me great comfort, and I can never thank that young woman enough.

I hope "Missing My Friend" will write those parents today. Letters like that are all we have left of our Jeff. Shared memories of him have helped us to cope with our loss.

Kathy and David Meincke

Please accept my sympathy for the tragic loss of your son. Your experience validates the fact that a letter of condolence can be a treasured keepsake and a lasting source of comfort for the recipient.

Dear Abby:

For the past five years, I have been friends with a man I'll call Harry. We met while we were working for the same company. I was dating someone else at the time, but the chemistry between Harry and me was apparent.

He eventually became my boss, so dating was out of the question. Both of us ended up leaving the company and getting involved with other people, but we always remained friends. Nothing romantic ever occurred between us -- even though people always assumed we were a couple and would ask us how long we had been married!

Recently we both became unattached again. My question: Can two people who have been good friends for such a long time become lovers and make it work? Or was "When Harry Met Sally" merely a movie?

A "Sally" in New Jersey

Friendship can be a terrific basis for a romantic relationship. Lack of a solid basis of friendship is often the reason that infatuations fizzle. Count your blessings and proceed full speed ahead.

Dear Abby:

My husband and I have been married for six months. I love him, but have a problem: I feel as if I was rushed into my marriage by his aunt.

Not only that, but I also find myself looking forward to seeing another man, "Ross." He is an inmate in a correctional facility and will be released around Christmas.

I dream about being with Ross. If my husband knew, he would be terribly hurt. What do you think I should do?

Prisoner of Love

The inmate is "safe." You can project your fantasies on him and he cannot disappoint you. (He can't fulfill them, either -- but that's beside the point.) I urge you to seek professional counseling ASAP -- before you destroy a promising marriage.

Dear Abby:

Last summer, my boyfriend and I attended the out-of-town wedding of a good friend. When I danced with the groom, he began running his hands all over me! I was shocked and tried to pull away. My boyfriend saw everything.

Since my return home, the groom has been sending me inappropriate e-mails. I keep e-mailing him back telling him to stop or I will tell his bride. I do not want to lose her friendship, but she should know what he is doing. What would you do?

Felt Up in Philly

Since he has not heeded your warning, forward the e-mails -- all of them -- to his wife.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2002, Universal Press Syndicate