For once I have a serious question. Here's the situation: My best friend from middle school and beyond just lost her mother. My friend lives on the west coast. I live in NY. She also has multiple medical problems. Over the past 20 years or so our communication has been sporadic but that never created a problem. We always seemed to be able to pick up where we left off. At the very beginning of the year I found her e-mail address on a scrap of paper on my messy ol' desk. I wrote a quick, shot e-mail to her just confirming that it was, in fact, her current e-mail address. Several days later I got a 2-line response from her. Can' remember what it was exactly, but it went something like this....."I don't think so. I need a friend who communicates more than every 2 years." I felt as if I had been punched in the chest and told her so in an equally as brief return e-mail. Soon after, I wrote a 3 page letter explaining what had been going on with me and why I hadn't been writing. I sent it by "snail mail." About a week after I sent it, I had a sudden realization that I had put the wrong last name on the envelope. I sent her yet another e-mail apologizing for that and again attributed it to my brain fog, etc. I never heard a word from her. Now, her mom has died. Her mom and dad live(d) here (her dad is still living). Her mom was like a second mom to me when I was growing up. I spent the summer in Great Britain with their family. This was not a casual relationship. Here's my problem: I want to reach out to her to tell her that I'm thinking about her and that I'm sorry about the loss of her mom. I hesitate about calling her because (1) I don't want to leave a message if she has caller ID and decides not to pick up or isn't home, or (2) I don't want to have an awkward situation if she DOES pick up the phone. The service for her mom isn't for another 2 weeks. That's a long time to go without a note or card of some kind. I fully intend on going to the service, because as I said, her mom was like a second mom to me. I know the family well. However, I don't want to cause my friend more stress by showing up. Oh hells bells - I just don't know what to do. Do I call? Do I send her a note soon? Do I just show up at the service without first having acknowledged her mom's death? I think I'm too close to the situation (obviously) to make a rational decision. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.