SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

September 30, 2013

Dear Abby: Family won’t pay deadbeat dad’s cremation expenses

Dear Abby: I was divorced 14 years ago. Afterward, my ex, “Tom,” hid from me because he was afraid I’d have him arrested for not paying child support.

Our son is a Marine, and the Red Cross notified him that his father was dying in a hospital on the East Coast. My ex’s aunt had contacted them to notify my son as next of kin. Tom had remarried, divorced again and had a girlfriend. He died a few days later.

Nobody is willing to pay for his cremation. I asked his sister and aunt if we could split the bill three ways, even though I realize I’m not obligated. They refused, even after being told the remains would be deemed “unclaimed.” The county would dispose of him as an indigent drifter. Their excuse was they hadn’t heard from him in several years. I told them they were preaching to the choir, since I was the one he hid from.

I do not resent my ex because I realize his death was as unpredictable as his life. But I do feel bitterly taken advantage of. When I accused his relatives of false concern, they got angry at me. How can I demonstrate honor to my son by dishonoring his father that way?

On The Spot In California

Dear On The Spot: You are not the next of kin; your son is. Ask him what he thinks would be the appropriate way to handle his deadbeat dad’s remains. You made the effort to have the family pay for the burial, and that should show your son that you tried to honor his father.

I don’t know how long it has been since your ex passed, but this is a case where the body could have been donated to a medical school. There is nothing dishonorable about that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, April 19 Easter Bunny Breakfast & Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. to noon, Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust St., Danvers. The youth groups of Northshore and Beverly Unitarian Universalist churches will hold an Easter breakfast and egg

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Marya DeCarlen has been named the new, full-time priest in charge at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore in Danvers. DeCarlen's ministry with the parish begins Sunday, April 27. Her appointment comes after the church's yearlong in

    April 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teenage girl’s boyish figure is often deceiving to others Dear Abby: I'm a 14-year-old girl with a problem. Because of my buzzed short hair, slim hips and flat chest, I frequently get mistaken for a boy. It really bothers me because, despite my haircut and body shape, I have a feminine face and I wear women

    April 19, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20

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

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone? We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treat

    April 18, 2014

  • Ask Dog Lady: Why is my dog fascinated with burying things? Dear Dog Lady, My dog came across a dead cat at the park and proceeded to bury the cat with surrounding leaves by using her nose and pushing the leaves over the dead cat. Two days later, we went back to the park, and she found the dead cat again and

    April 18, 2014

  • ed Ipswich author to share drawing techniques Most of Ed Emberley's 80 children's books, 20 of which are still in print, have one goal in mind. "Showing the kids you can draw; everybody can draw something," he said. "They get encouragement from working with the simplest thing." Emberley will giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • holtenhouse Quick pick 'Voices From the Back Stairs' Jennifer Pustz of Historic New England presents "Voices From the Back Stairs" tomorrow at 2, at the Judge Samuel Holten House, 171 Holten St., Danvers. In her presentation, Pustz explores domestic service in 19th- and 20

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Assistant’s gruff attitude needs to be smoothed out Dear Abby: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brown-noser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people

    April 18, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, April 18

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

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker