If her deep grief persists, suggest she get grief counseling. That would be the most loving and supportive thing you could do.
DEAR ABBY: I have a problem dealing with shopping mall kiosk operators. Many of them are outright obnoxious. They block your way and insist that you listen to their pitch or try their product. I find I have to avoid eye contact with them. They might say something nice as I walk by, but if I answer, it is a guaranteed lead-in to a sales pitch.
I feel bad for not replying, but it’s the only way. I know they are trying to make a living, but I can see their product as I walk by. If it’s something I’m interested in, I’ll stop and ask.
Otherwise, I think they should respect my privacy. Am I wrong for feeling this way? - BOTHERED IN TEMPE, ARIZ.
DEAR BOTHERED: Not at all. If a stranger speaks to you, no rule of etiquette compels you to reply. When one of these salespeople starts to pitch you, all you need to say is, “Not interested!” and keep walking. However, if someone attempts to physically restrain you, it should be reported to the mall management because that is going too far.
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.