DEAR ABBY: My mother is a spry, 75-year-old woman who has expressed an unusual request. She has told us "kids" that when she is called by the angels, she wants to be dressed in an aqua nightgown or PJs, and to be lying on her side. She says she will be sleeping for a long time, and she wants to make sure she's comfortable. She also says if we don't carry out her wishes, she will come back and haunt us. I have attended many wakes, but I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this done before. What do you think?
— WANTS TO DO RIGHT BY MAMA IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR WANTS TO DO RIGHT: I think it's wonderful that your mother is discussing this now — and I hope your letter will encourage more readers to begin this kind of important conversation with their loved ones.Because the alternative is to be "haunted" to eternity, you should honor your mother's wishes. But because laws vary from state to state, readers who want to find out what the law is in their state should visit www.funerals.org and view the Personal Preference page.
DEAR ABBY: My son "Pete," who is in his late 20s, has had a battle with drugs since he was 17. After numerous trips to rehab, thousands of dollars and too many heartbreaks to number, his dad and I decided to tell him he is no longer welcome in our home.
We did not reach this decision lightly. We have other children and grandchildren to consider.
We have lived in this small town all our lives. I don't know how to answer people's questions about why we have no contact with Pete or why we haven't tried other solutions. I have cried myself to sleep many nights over careless comments that have been made.
We love our son dearly, but we can no longer be his crutch to lean on. Please tell me how to answer these people without being rude and hurtful.
— DESPERATE MOM IN LOUISIANA
DEAR MOM: The thoughts you conveyed in your letter are excellent replies to thoughtless people who question your decision. You DID try "other solutions." They didn't work, and there are other relatives who must be considered. Sometimes addicts must hit bottom before they finally accept that — in the final analysis — they have to help themselves recover. If you are questioned more than once, tell the person plainly that this was a painful decision for you and your husband and to please not raise the subject again.
DEAR ABBY: I have purchased season tickets for the local professional hockey team from a former co-worker for the last five years. We worked together for eight years and had a good relationship until this recent issue.
This year, when I called to ask about the tickets, she informed me that she had already sold them on Craigslist. I was upset because she didn't offer them to me first. I would have paid her the asking price without complaint.
I understand that they were her tickets and she could do what she wanted with them, but I feel she was inconsiderate and rude not to at least offer them to me before selling them to a total stranger. We are no longer speaking. Who's in the right?
— MAD IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MAD: She should have warned you — but if it ended the friendship, it couldn't have been much of one to begin with.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.