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Dear Abby: While volunteering last year with a moms’ group, I met a woman I’ll call “Beverly.” We worked on a project together and that was the last I saw of her. I heard she recently lost her daughter in a terrible accident. Our group rallied around her to provide meals for her family. At that time I asked the volunteer chairwoman about taking a meal to Beverly. The chairwoman didn’t respond until a couple of weeks later.

Now I’m wondering if I should still take a meal over there. How long should a family who has suffered a loss receive meals? I want to be a comfort, but I don’t know them that well.

– Unsure in Georgia

Dear Unsure: When a death happens, people often rush to console the grieving family. More help is offered than can be accepted in the weeks that follow, and then people drift away. It is not too late to offer Beverly and her family a home-cooked meal. Call her, make the offer, and I’m sure it will be gratefully accepted.

Timeout on tofu turkey

Dear Abby: Every year we go to my brother’s home for Thanksgiving. His wife, “Kelly,” is a vegetarian. She will not eat meat and forces all of her guests to follow her strict diet, so every year we are forced to eat tofu turkey. I brought up the idea of possibly having both a tofu turkey and a regular turkey, but that made my sister-in-law extremely angry.

I love my brother very much and would hate to compromise our relationship, but every year this causes a fuss at Thanksgiving, and I’d like to avoid it this year. Any advice would be much appreciated.

– Tofu-Ed Out in Wisconsin

Dear Tofu-Ed Out: No law says you must dine at your brother’s home every year. Either alternate hosting the Thanksgiving dinner (when it’s at your house, Kelly can bring tofu turkey for herself – if she decides to attend) or make other plans for a traditional dinner elsewhere.