Sandy In Pennsylvania
Dear Abby: Some people, whether or not they live and associate with friends and family, feel a certain emptiness in their lives and look for different ways to feel SOMEthing emotionally. Finding the name of someone they know, especially in an obituary, where some of the person’s biography is included, provides the opportunity to feel compassion toward that individual or even feel grateful to still be alive. Not finding a familiar name can seem like a missed opportunity to experience that.
Loyal Reader, Arlington, Va.
Dear Abby: Please tell “Still Alive” she isn’t alone. I have often wondered why I look through the obituaries half-hoping to see someone I know. I suspect it may be similar to how people slow down to view a car wreck. I’m a sympathetic, caring person; I don’t consider myself weird or cold-blooded.
Empathizing In Honolulu
Dear Abby: I, too, am a daily obit reader. I have lived in this town for more than 50 years, and I know a lot of people here. When I see a name I know, or the name of a family member of a friend, I take the opportunity to send a card to express my condolences.
And, by the way, your column appears on the same page as the obituaries in my local newspaper, and I’d never want to miss a day of Dear Abby!
Big Fan In Tucson
Dear Big Fan: Bless you!
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, CA 90069.