June 21, 2024
Plus: After 18 months, he's still wishy-washy about marriage.

DEAR ABBY: I have a family issue concerning the recent, untimely death of my only (younger) brother, who died of pneumonia in Georgia.

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His wife had him cremated the following day instead of having a funeral. She didn’t inform his immediate family about it until it was over.

Was that legal? And was it the right thing to do?

— NO FAMILY CLOSURE

DEAR N.F.C: Please accept my sympathy for the passing of your younger brother. When the sibling is younger, the loss can be particularly poignant.

When a married individual dies, it is legal for the surviving spouse to determine what will happen to their loved one’s remains.

We don’t know if the subject of funerals, memorials, burials or cremations was ever discussed between your brother and his wife. If you are wondering, rather than judge her, ask her. He may have expressed a wish not to be put into the ground, or he may have been cremated for financial reasons.

While you are at it, ask if she’s planning any kind of memorial. If she isn’t planning anything, you may want to host one for yourselves.

DEAR ABBY: I’m 44, and I have been dating a wonderful man for the last year and a half. He’s 44 as well. He has a nice home and job and has 50/50 custody of his three children, who adore me. I’m good to them, and we all get along well, just like a family.

The problem is, he goes back and forth about marriage. I have made it clear that, although I have no desire to pressure him, I do want to be married again one day. I said I’d rather be let go than led on. He said he isn’t sure, and some days he says he may never remarry.

The last time we talked about it, he said it’s a “possibility,” but he didn’t want to be pressured — it has to be his idea.

How long should I wait until I say enough is enough? I’m not getting any younger.

— FIXED ON MARRIAGE

DEAR FIXED: When was the last time you had this discussion? You have described a man who is comfortable with things just the way they are. A year and a half is a reasonable amount of time to decide whether a relationship is serious enough to lead to something more.

Give him six more months, during which you do not mention the word “marriage.” By then, you will have invested two years. After that, ask if he has made up his mind about the two of you being married, and if his answer is anything less than yes, move on.

DEAR ABBY: Do I give my daughter her baby book now that she’s in her 40s? Does the same answer apply to a son? I just need to know if it’s something a parent does.

— WONDERING MOM

DEAR WONDERING: Some parents give their children these mementos when they are downsizing their homes. Others offer it to them once they marry, settle down or prove they are responsible enough that it won’t be lost.

Of course, before bestowing such a gift, it would be prudent to ask if it would be welcomed.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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