Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Update: “A Forty-Something Friend” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “A Forty-Something Friend” who had close friends navigating big challenges in their lives, like divorces and a death of a spouse. She asked: “Do you have any ideas for showing up for our friends who are struggling with grief and loss in their 40s as they are also raising kids and doing their best to keep this grief and loss from having a long-term negative effect on their children?” Her update below.

First, I would like to thank you for the beautiful response to my letter. You and your readers answered the question that I didn’t quite realize I was asking. It’s scary to feel like you might do or say the wrong thing to someone you love who is grieving. I really appreciated the encouragement that showing up and trying to support my friends would be important enough to these women that it would overshadow any misstep I might make along the way.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing. I make sure and text my friends regularly. Even just to say “you’re on my mind today”. Sometimes they get back with me and sometimes they don’t. But, they have said that they really appreciate knowing that I’m thinking of them regularly. I sent a card for Valentine’s Day to the woman whose husband died a couple of months before. I also asked her if I could do her laundry; she let me take the kid’s clothes and towels to a laundromat. We are also planning a women and kids camping trip to our local National Park this summer. We have sites that are back to back and think it will be a fun trip. I hope things with Corona Virus calm down by then and we are able to go.

Thanks for taking the time to write such an eloquent response to my letter. I’ve been reading your blog since you started it and I have always appreciated the straightforward advice. Through the years, I’ve found something applicable to every part of my life from dating, marriage, motherhood, work, friendships, love, and grief. Thank you for sharing some tools to navigate this season of life when grief becomes more common. I appreciate you and this blog!

 
You sound like a wonderful friend, and I appreciate your kind words to me, too. I’m so glad you’ve found meaning in anything I’ve shared here over the years and I thank you for your continued support. Here’s to summer plans sticking!

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If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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7 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran April 14, 2020, 12:57 pm

    That was a lovely update! I’m glad you shared.

    Re: This site. I share the LWs sentiments. I’ve read this site since its inception and it helped me immensely through the entirety of my 30s and hopefully 40s and beyond. You are so much appreciated Wendy.

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      Dear Wendy April 14, 2020, 2:02 pm

      Aw, thank you – that means a lot. 🙂

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        cyndi April 14, 2020, 2:09 pm

        Wendy,
        You are a lifeline and lifesaver for so many people. Your wise, sometimes blunt, and on point advice always give me pause for thought. Good to see you back.

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        anonymousse April 14, 2020, 3:49 pm

        Me too, Wendy! I first started lurking through the frisky years. Your sites helped me navigate through a lot of relationship minefields. Thank you.

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        Miel April 14, 2020, 4:19 pm

        Here too Wendy!
        I met my first ever boyfriend when I was 20 and immediately started reading your blog. Through the hundreds of LWs and your many advices, I really believe my boyfriend and I were able to learn from the mistakes and lessons of others instead of having to make the same mistakes ourselves, over and over. You and the commenters have saved us from many pitfalls, I’m sure. I’m 29 now, and the boyfriend and I are planning on getting married the minute our courthouse starts performing weddings again. Thank you!

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      Dear Wendy April 14, 2020, 6:36 pm

      Thanks, you guys.

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    Hazel April 15, 2020, 1:21 pm

    Just wanted to echo pretty much what everyone above said. You are always so thoughtful and incisive and reading your page has meant a lot to me over the past few years, I really appreciate it, and you.

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