Dear Abby: I’m distraught, confused after girlfriend ghosts me, then dies

Longtime partner is left with unanswered questions after the late teen’s family denies access to the funeral.

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DEAR ABBY: My first long-term girlfriend ghosted me. She died soon afterward, and I’m left with a gaping lack of closure. I’m 19. We had dated for four years and we were best friends. We didn’t live together, but planned to in the coming months. I intended to marry her.

One day out of the blue, she cut me off. She had been acting depressed, but convinced me she was fine when I (gingerly) confronted her about it. She ghosted me the next day. She blocked me, changed her number and refused to speak to me when I showed up at her house. Everything to my knowledge had been fine between us.

Weeks later, she had a terrible accident at work, and died in the hospital. I learned about it only afterward, from her mother. Her parents have denied me access to her room and to some shared personal and sentimental belongings and wouldn’t let me adopt her pets, which were sent to the pound. Most painful for me, they asked that I not come to her funeral. Her family believes that because we weren’t married and we hadn’t been dating at the time of her death that I had no place with her things after her death, even though we were best friends who spent almost half a decade together.

I never got to speak to her, say goodbye or receive any answers. My family isn’t being kind about the situation, either. They feel the same way as her family does. I feel like a widow. I have many questions that will always be left unanswered. How do I move on from this? — MOURNING IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR MOURNING: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. It is regrettable that your family hasn’t been supportive during this difficult time. A way to move forward would be through grief counseling. Your doctor (or your family physician) should be able to give you a referral. However, if that’s not possible, consult your religious adviser or even the funeral director who handled your girlfriend’s service, because that person may have a resource for you.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 69-year-old divorced female. I dated a guy 40 years ago for about three years. I broke up with him because he wanted to be with me 24/7. I’m classic rock; he’s totally country. Music is important to me. (I play piano.)

He was a great guy who was always there for me. We enjoyed a lot of vacations together. When we broke up, he said he wouldn’t call me. Three years later he called to tell me he was getting married, and asked me what had caused our breakup. I told him to give his fiancee some space.

Now he’s divorced and messaging me. He says he wants me back, he has never stopped loving me and is more in love with me now than ever. I haven’t responded. What should I do? — TORN UP IN MICHIGAN

DEAR TORN UP: How do you feel about him? If you think with the passage of time you could be happy with him, agree to see him. If not, tell him you felt smothered by him when the two of you dated, and you have no interest in resuscitating a dead romance.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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