Late friend’s sis­ter is fu­ri­ous with me

Chicago Sun-Times - - LIFE - DEAR ABBY 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.

Dear Abby: I missed the fu­neral of a long­time fam­ily friend, “Tom,” be­cause I fool­ishly re­lied on one of my rel­a­tives to let me know when the ser­vice was, and she didn’t. I had to go out of town two days af­ter Tom died, but I should have called some­one be­fore I left so I could re­vise my travel plans. I was so sure my fam­ily would let me know.

Out of em­bar­rass­ment, I com­pounded the mis­take by not con­tact­ing Tom’s sis­ter when I re­turned two days later and re­al­ized I had missed ev­ery­thing. When I fi­nally spoke with her, she was fu­ri­ous with me, for which I don’t blame her.

When I tried to ex­plain, she mis­con­strued ev­ery­thing I tried to say and ac­cused me of “just mak­ing ex­cuses.” She went on and on for so long, I was shocked by how up­set she was.

I’m not an im­por­tant per­son to Tom’s fam­ily even though he was spe­cial to me, so I’m not sure why she’s so up­set with me. I don’t know what to do be­cause the more I try to com­mu­ni­cate, the more ir­ra­tional she gets.

I’m mourn­ing Tom, who was like an un­cle to me, and I want to make it up to his fam­ily. He had been sick for a long time, so his death wasn’t a sur­prise.

I see some of his rel­a­tives quite of­ten, and I don’t know how to ap­proach them when I see them next. Any ideas? Anguished in New York

Dear Anguished: At­ten­dance at fu­ner­als is not com­pul­sory. Your rea­son for miss­ing Tom’s fu­neral was le­git­i­mate. Many peo­ple skip fu­ner­als be­cause they pre­fer to re­mem­ber the de­ceased as they were in­stead of in a cof­fin.

Tom’s sis­ter is griev­ing for her brother and tak­ing her pain out on you. What she said was out of line, and you do not have to apol­o­gize fur­ther.

When you see the other fam­ily mem­bers, ex­tend your con­do­lences, tell them you were out of town at the time of his fu­neral and that you are sorry you were un­able to be there to sup­port them. Pe­riod.

Dear Abby: My hus­band of 17 years has been cheat­ing on me and is con­tin­u­ing to cheat. His older sis­ter also cheated on her hus­band for many years with mul­ti­ple men, so cheat­ing must run in their DNA.

Be­cause of our un­happy mar­riages, my brother- in- law and I be­gan talk­ing, shar­ing our pain and re­gret about mar­ry­ing the wrong peo­ple. Be­cause of our con­ver­sa­tions, we be­came friends and soul­mates. We both have deep wounds no one else un­der­stands. Ul­ti­mately, we be­came phys­i­cally at­tracted to each other.

Is it wrong that we are fall­ing in love? Both of us want to be le­git­i­mately to­gether, but at the same time we are afraid fam­ily around us will re­ject us. Cheat­ing Fam­ily

Dear Cheat­ing Fam­ily: Why would the fam­ily around you re­ject you? What has hap­pened is un­der­stand­able. Surely the fam­ily is aware that both your spouses have cheated for years.

I would, how­ever, cau­tion that it would be bet­ter for you two to avoid act­ing on your phys­i­cal at­trac­tion un­til af­ter you have both filed for divorce — not only to pro­tect each other’s rep­u­ta­tions but also be­cause cheat­ing does not run in YOUR DNA. To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $ 7 ( U. S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Let­ter Book­let, P. O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054- 0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

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