My reaction to confusing news ended the friendship

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A few years ago, a longtime friend sent me a private message via social media that just said, “Don had a massive heart attack and died.”

I immediately thought it was a mutual friend I had been close to for over 20 years but who I had been out of touch with for a few years due to my move to another country. I was so upset and crying over the news that I had to leave work early that day.

When I got home, I frantically reached out to other mutual friends only to find out that “my” Don was alive and well. To find out, the friend who sent me the message referred to her ex-husband, whom she had been divorced from for many years and who rarely got into a conversation.

Still recovering from my grief and shock, I wrote that this is it much important to clarify who you are referring to when sharing bad news.

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