Silence replaces a 40-year friendship

Dear Abby: I have been friends with a woman I’ll call “Blanche” for 40 years. We used to work together, and we supported each other during our divorces and other life problems. We lost touch for a time, then reconnected. I kept in touch with her for years through email at her work. We both are on Facebook, and she knows how to contact me.

Since she retired six months ago, I haven’t heard from her. She comments online and “likes” things I post, but that’s it. I have now blocked her and moved on, which may seem harsh, but the story is too long to explain. I was depressed early on, but I’m over it now. I had to accept that she no longer wanted to continue our friendship. And yes, we have discussed this before. Am I wrong to let it go and move on? — Over It in North Carolina

Dear Over It: Sometimes in life we must make a conscious decision to do what’s right for ourselves. In a case like the one you have described, it is not only NOT wrong to let go of a relationship that has withered, it is healthier. Move on and waste no more time looking back.

Dear Abby: Many years ago, shortly after our mother’s death, my sister and I impulsively gave our friend my mother’s pearl necklace. We have regretted it ever since. We wish we hadn’t acted so quickly, because the pearls were a gift from our dad to our mom.

Is it too late to ask her to return it? I’d like to pass it on to my granddaughter but don’t want to offend my long-lost friend. At any rate, I have learned — and hope others will heed this advice — do not act impulsively when giving away precious mementos of your loved ones. You may regret it. Thank you, Abby, for considering this sensitive issue. God bless. — Regret It in the East

Dear Regret: It may not be too late to ask for the necklace, provided you can locate your “long-lost” friend. It’s worth a try, but keep in mind that once the gift was given, it belonged to the recipient. I am printing your letter because I am sure you and your sister are not the only folks who have done this, which is why grieving family members are advised to postpone making serious decisions for one year after the demise of a loved one.

Dear Abby: I love being an aunt, but my teenage nephew calls me by my first name. More than once I have asked him to call me Aunt, but then I get corrected by other relatives who say what a silly tradition it is. Recently, I told my nephew if he’s too old to call me Aunt, then I’m certainly too old to send gifts. Am I wrong? —  Aunt in Wisconsin

Dear Aunt: I understand your feelings. You are entitled to be called whatever you wish, and “other relatives,” including your nephew, should respect your wishes. However, if you quit giving gifts to your nephew for your stated reason, you can be sure he will be calling you something, but it won’t be “Aunt.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at

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