Dear Abby: Recently my 80-year-old mother was admitted to the hospital, gravely ill. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and caught double pneumonia. My 36-year-old niece went to visit Mama, took pictures of her lying in her hospital bed and emailed the photos to everyone.
It was shocking and upsetting seeing my mother this way. Many of the people who received the photos had not been able to visit her. Abby, what's your opinion on this, and how should it have been handled?
-- Sincerely Upset in Florida
Dear Sincerely Upset: I don't blame you for being upset. What your niece did was a gross invasion of privacy. Is this how your mother would have wanted people to see her? If the answer is no, your niece owes your mother an apology.
If your mother is still hospitalized, talk to the nurse in charge of the unit she's in and give her a list of visitors who should have access to her. Explain why you want visitation restricted, and in the future your mother's privacy will be assured.
Who's to blame here?
Dear Abby: I am a 12-year-old girl who needs your advice. My friend and I went shopping a while back and she lent me money to buy a few things. However, later that day she lost the bag that had my stuff in it at the mall. One day she brought up that I have not paid her back, but I said I don't think I should have to pay her back since she lost the stuff she bought for me. Who do you think is right?
-- Needs Advice in Oakland, Calif.
Dear Needs Advice: You are. She's out the money; you're out the "goods." You're even. However, from now on when you buy something, take responsibility for it and keep it in your possession. That way, if something is lost, you will have no one to blame but yourself.