SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

September 12, 2013

Dear Abby: Family’s feuding complicates woman’s plans for her funeral

:Dear Abby: I have four siblings. We get along fine as long as we’re apart.

During Mom’s and Dad’s funerals, I was dismayed at the degree of tension and bickering among us. I am now dealing with an incurable illness that will shorten my life considerably. I have no desire to put my husband through a funeral hosting a family who never liked him. I prefer to be cremated, and a handwritten letter be sent to each of my siblings after the fact.

Is this selfish? I don’t want people saying things they don’t sincerely mean. I didn’t have a happy childhood, and my siblings contributed to that. My letter will not be accusatory, nor will it rake up long-ago hurts. I just want them to know that my husband has carried out my wishes and they should not blame him for doing so. Any thoughts?

:Keeping It Simple

:Dear Keeping It Simple: I don’t think your wishes are selfish. You’re entitled to exit the stage of life in the manner you choose. Because you prefer to bid your siblings goodbye in handwritten letters, go ahead and do it.

If I have any advice to offer it is that your husband should continue to maintain a healthy distance from your siblings after your death. You can’t prevent them from having whatever reaction they choose, considering the level of dysfunction in your family. It’s not unusual for survivors to react with anger after a death, and your husband should not take it personally if they do.

:

Dear Abby: My daughter rents a second-floor apartment with her two little girls. The tenant on the first floor is on oxygen and smokes cigarettes. I am concerned about the risk of an explosion that could injure my family upstairs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Poundstone2 Wait, wait ... it's Paula Paula Poundstone often makes fun of her own awkward appearance, which she emphasizes by wearing men's ties and wide-lapel suits. "Is it me, or do I have the worst posture in the history of the world?" she asks in one routine. "I hope to eventually go

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • mainstage 'Servant of Two Masters' designed to keep you laughing The Mainstage Theatre at Salem State, which will shut its doors in June, opened 30 years ago to the sound of laughter. With performances this weekend and next of Carlo Goldoni's "The Servant of Two Masters," it's going to close that way, as well. "

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fishes North Shore Entertainment Calendar Music MUSIC AT GULU-GULU. Shows are at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted, at Gulu-Gulu Cafe, 247 Essex St., Salem. Thursday, April 17, David Simmons Annual Theme Night, a Simon and Garfunkel Tribute; Friday, April 18, Lowman, alternative; Saturday, April

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140415_SN_HAND_READERSEYE The reader's eye Name: Corey Kramer Hometown: Beverly Description: "I pass by this view every day on my way to school. This photo was taken at Endicott Beach. I enjoy taking photos of nature, which does not require human recognition to show its beauty. I have done ve

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • riverhouse Good cause Cheer on the Red Sox, support the River House Everyone is invited to watch the Red Sox game at the second annual Danvers Community Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of Maple Street Congregational Church, 90 Maple St. Cheer on the Sox as they play the Baltimore Orioles and pa

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Father of four is selfish to put health at risk Dear Abby: I am a 34-year-old wife and mother of four. I'm concerned about my husband. He is 44 and drinks at home every evening after work. I don't mind him having a few cans of beer, but he drinks between six and 12 a day. He refuses to see a doct

    April 17, 2014

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, April 17

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Cellphone snoop discovers boyfriend is cheating

    Dear Abby: I have been in a long-distance relationship with "Victor" for several years. Recently, I began to suspect he was cheating. What raised my suspicion was that I suddenly couldn't reach him on the weekends. Usually, we would Skype -- Sunday n

    April 16, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, April 16

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Signs of an abuser apply to women as well as men Dear Abby: I read your Jan. 8 column about the warning signs of an abuser. Would you use your influence to say that men are also victims of abuse? My son was in a three-year relationship with a woman who scored 15 out of 15 on your list. We knew it

    April 15, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker