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There is no too soon, there's only too late
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Carolyn • My grandma is dying — they found cancer too, too late. She went from being moderately healthy to having only a couple of months left. I live 10 hours away by car. My sister lives six hours away by plane. Neither of us knows when to be there or how to know. My parents avoid sharing unpleasant news. Do I go now while she is still doing pretty well? Later? Thanksgiving? I am talking to her regularly and afraid I will make the wrong choice.

Grief and Anxiety

Dear Grief and Anxiety • There is no too soon, there's only too late. Visit your grandma as soon as you can for as long as you can, and more than once if you can. I'm sorry.

Dear Carolyn • My boyfriend of two years asked me if I wanted to go on a cruise with him. I said no, because I had other financial obligations. He said OK, he would go alone as a Christmas gift to himself! Interesting. I have not said a thing. I paid fully for two vacations, one to Key West and the other to New York City. What does this say about our relationship? This is the same man who tells me that we are a couple and we do nothing alone. What are your thoughts? Is it finally time for me to say goodbye?

Rather Confused

Dear Rather Confused • Apparently, but not just because he's cruising alone; many couples embrace occasional solo travel. On its own, his "Christmas gift to himself" is more of a forehead-slapper than a deal-breaker, with an easily made counterpoint: "Ouch. I gladly paid for your Key West and New York trips. I'm really hurt." Then he'd have a chance to say his piece, which would likely answer your is-it-finally-time question. The reason you needn't work that hard for your answer: This man "tells me that we are a couple and we do nothing alone"? Wow. You know the context, but without it, it sounds suspiciously like the last thing someone says to you before you break up with him or her. It's a statement of ownership — of you — that foreshadows abuse. You don't even need this many words to get your answer, though: When you put "finally" in the "Is it time to break up" question, that's the only word you need.

Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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