DEAR ABBY: When I texted my distant sibling “Pat” to thank him for a thoughtful gift that I really liked, they said, “Oh no, the shipping labels for the packages that were sent to you and our other sibling , must have been swapped.”
Then Pat insisted that I immediately exchange gifts with our siblings. Pat contacted our sibling’s spouse to let them know about the mix-up rather than trusting me to handle the situation.
Am I wrong in feeling like Pat should have left it alone well enough since I expressed my appreciation for the gift and sent a similarly thoughtful gift to his intended siblings to set things right?
I’ve never been in a situation like this, but I feel like I’m falling short.
MIXED ABOUT MIXING
DEAR MISCELLANEOUS: Not knowing the discrepancy between the gift you received and the one your siblings received, I cannot judge if you “got short”. But Pat should have replaced the gift received from the siblings rather than insisting that you give up the one you received.
I don’t blame you for being offended. The way Pat handled the situation was beyond rude.
DEAR ABBY: My husband passed away four months ago after years of battling cancer. He declined within a month and we opted for home hospice care. (I didn’t find her particularly caring or helpful.) This was even more depressing because it happened during COVID.
After my husband died, all emotional support stopped – no family visits and no phone calls. When I’m not writing, I’m not in touch with anyone. After 55 years of marriage I am now completely isolated and alone.
I sometimes have breakdowns for nothing. I miss sleep. Bereavement counseling is on Zoom and I don’t have a computer.
I know it takes years to adjust to a new way of life, but my mobility issues aren’t helping. I’ve always been independent; now I feel like a burden. It takes me forever to get around.
Abby, I’m not sure how to proceed from here. Any suggestions for the future?
TOO MUCH CHANGE IN FLORIDA
LOVE TOO MUCH CHANGE: Yes I will! Call your doctor and tell them what’s going on. Since you don’t have a computer, bereavement counseling over the phone may be an option. There may also be help for your sleep problems.
As for your meltdowns, they’ll wear off over time. But you have to accept that grief is a process that takes time.
When you feel isolated, do you pick up the phone and call others, or do you expect them to pick up the call? A step towards healthy independence would be to make yourself reach out and communicate with others.
You might also consider adopting a dog, which would not only force you to leave the house — which is healthy — but also give you a chance to meet others.
I know it’s an effort sometimes just to get out of bed. But if you start doing these things, they are all steps in the right direction and will help you take your life back.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/10/dear-abby-the-gift-i-really-liked-was-apparently-a-mistake-and-i-had-to-give-it-up/ A gift that I really liked was sent to me by mistake