Woman trau­ma­tized by sis­ter’s mur­der needs clo­sure

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LIVING - Writ­ten by Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I lost my sis­ter in a bru­tal mur­der sev­eral years ago. I was too emotionally up­set to view her body or go to the trial. As a re­sult of not hav­ing been phys­i­cally con­nected to her pass­ing, I have lacked clo­sure all th­ese years.

I be­lieve I am fi­nally ready to face the re­al­ity and deal with it now. As part of the process of mov­ing on, I would like to say goodbye to her at the last place I re­mem­ber her liv­ing, which is the house she spent so much time and ef­fort on and where she was mur­dered. The house sold shortly after it was listed.

I can’t con­ceive of im­pos­ing on the new own­ers with my own “is­sues,” so I do not in­tend to knock on the door and ex­plain who I am. I am won­der­ing, how­ever, about the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of leav­ing a bas­ket of my sis­ter’s fa­vorite flow­ers on the front porch in her mem­ory. I feel like I need to leave some­thing for her.

If this would be all right to do, would a note to the ef­fect of wish­ing the house and its own­ers a new be­gin­ning be the thing to do, or not in­clud­ing a note at all? I’m at a loss. — LOST IN MON­TANA

DEAR LOST: Please ac­cept my sym­pa­thy for the tragic loss of your sis­ter. I would not ad­vise anony­mously leav­ing flow­ers on the doorstep be­cause it might up­set the new home­own­ers. How­ever, a signed card, with a mes­sage wish­ing them a lifetime of hap­pi­ness in this house that has a spe­cial mean­ing for you be­cause your beloved sis­ter once lived there, might be some­thing they would en­joy while pro­vid­ing clo­sure for you.

DEAR ABBY: Our of­fice has break­fast and lunch brought in ev­ery day for the staff, clients and vis­i­tors. They are nice lunches — steak, baked chicken, sand­wiches, pizza and bar­be­cue — and almost ev­ery day there are leftovers.

There are only five em­ploy­ees, and I am the only fe­male. I earn less than half of what the men here do. I am also the only one who has teenaged sons. Most of the time when we di­vide up the leftovers to take home, I get more than my fair share. Some­times it’s by de­fault — no­body wants them. But some­times it’s by de­sign. The boss says, “Take most of it — you have kids.”

I ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra food. With an added salad or some ex­tra vegetables, din­ner is ready in short or­der when I get home. (Plus, it saves me hun­dreds of dol­lars each month in gro­ceries.)

But I’m start­ing to feel funny about it. Is it an act of kind­ness, or could it have a neg­a­tive im­pact on my sta­tus in the of­fice? Or am I look­ing a gift horse in the mouth and wor­ried about noth­ing? — AM­BIVA­LENT DOWN SOUTH

DEAR AM­BIVA­LENT: It ap­pears you work in an of­fice with un­usu­ally con­sid­er­ate peo­ple. I can’t see how ac­cept­ing the leftovers would in any way com­pro­mise your sta­tus in the of­fice.

What would hap­pen to the food if you didn’t take it? Would it be wasted? As you said, this is sav­ing you hun­dreds of dol­lars a month in gro­ceries. I agree you may be look­ing a gift horse in the mouth, and that ain’t hay.

Con­tact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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