Dear Abby: At a recent anniversary celebration for my parents, a well-meaning but thoughtless in-law sent them a gift from my deceased sister, with a card signed with her name. She died of cancer two years ago.
Her loss has been difficult and heartbreaking for all of us, especially my parents. I am furious at this guest for giving such a "gift." My parents were visibly shocked, but thanked the person anyway.
I knew the in-law was planning something like this, and I asked that it not be done at the party. I wish I had just said, "No! Don't do it!" I'm not sure whether I am madder at the gift giver or myself. I feel like the work we have done to recover from the loss has been set back. I could use some good advice.
-- Speechless in New Jersey
Dear Speechless: Your parents are extraordinarily gracious people to have handled the situation as tactfully as they did. It must have been devastating for them. The in-law's level of insensitivity is appalling.
Please do not blame yourself for what happened. If you had said, "Don't do it," it probably would have happened anyway. What's done is done, now let it go.
Make divorce a 'done' deal
Dear Abby: My husband moved out on Feb. 14 of last year. (Yes, Valentine's Day!) Our divorce will be final soon.
My soon-to-be-ex parades his girlfriend all over town and with our friends. He claims it is over between us, yet he still comes over to mow the yard for me and do errands. He also comes here every Sunday to watch TV and visit. He says he wants to remain close friends even after the divorce.
My question is: What gives with him? I don't understand him at all.
-- Are We Done Yet?
Dear Are We Done Yet?: For a man to move out on Valentine's Day illustrates that he has the emotional sensitivity of a golf shoe. Your ex may be doing these things out of guilt. Whether the two of you are done yet depends upon how you define "done." Your marriage is over. Your romance is, too. What's left to tie you together? If it's masochism on your part, I don't recommend it.