Man vac­il­lates over invit­ing late wife’s mom to wedding

The Oklahoman - - LIFE & STYLE - 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. Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My wife passed away two years ago at age 40 after a long bout with can­cer. We had three chil­dren, ages 7 to 12. I am 44 and en­gaged now to a won­der­ful woman. We are plan­ning to have a small wedding with fewer than 50 guests.

While the kids and I are do­ing well, my late wife’s mother, “Karen,” is still griev­ing. She has a force­ful per­son­al­ity and can be quite pushy. She lives nearby.

We have not fi­nal­ized the ar­range­ments or sent out in­vi­ta­tions. Karen has been ask­ing if she and my for­mer fa­therin-law are in­vited, but we haven’t an­swered her yet. She says she’s hurt be­cause she feels we don’t want her there.

Is it proper eti­quette to in­vite the par­ents of a de­ceased spouse to a re­mar­riage? The only peo­ple she would know aside from us would be my par­ents, who need to bond with my fi­ancee’s fam­ily who are com­ing from out of town. The kids seem to not care ei­ther way. If it were me, I’d feel awk­ward be­ing there. Help!

— Look­ing to the Future in

Illi­nois DEAR LOOK­ING: Although your late wife is gone, her par­ents are still your chil­dren’s grand­par­ents and there­fore should be treated as part of your fam­ily. While you might feel awk­ward if you were in their po­si­tion, con­sider how hurt they will be if they are not in­cluded on the guest list. The de­ci­sion whether to at­tend should be theirs to make.

Wel­come them and treat them with kind­ness. A wife can be “re­placed,” but a daugh­ter can­not, which is why Karen is still griev­ing even though you have gone on with your life.

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