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Just shut up

A relative had a health scare yesterday which required an emergency room visit and many tests. It turned out OK, but that didn't stop the advice from flowing today.

I should know better. When people are in distress or coming down from a crisis, they just need to talk it out. They don't need advice. They don't need stories about others who experienced a similar health scare.

But did this intellectual knowledge stop me from opening my mouth? Noooo.

I “advised” this relative to start exercising as soon as possible for both physical health and stress relief. And get some more sleep! She is a person who does a lot for others and doesn't accept others' help easily. So I lectured her on that, too!

I could tell she was anxious to get off the phone.

Just shut up. I need to heed my own advice here.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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