Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Journals are a last link to late sister’s life

 

Dear Abby: My sister died suddenly. She hadn’t been ill, and it was a shock. Although she tried hard to have a relationship with me over the years, I had trouble relating to her and we weren’t close.

I am sorry to say that I never took the time to get to know her. I’m left now with many questions about the sister I always had, but never really knew.

As her next of kin, I’m responsible for packing up her things, and I came across several journals. I would like to read them because I feel they would help me to understand her better, but I also feel it might be disrespectful to go through something of hers that was so personal.

What do you think? Would it be wrong to read them? I wish I had her here to talk to instead of journals to snoop through.

Regretful

I’m sorry for your loss, and your regrets. Because you would like to know your sibling, I think you should read her journals. While it’s sad that you have to make her acquaintance in this way, it would be better than never having known her at all.

Dear Abby: I love my wife, but I find it difficult to take her to any function where there will be many people. She doesn’t comprehend most conversations. She acts like she’s listening, but if prompted for a reply, it’s obvious she wasn’t.

While she doesn’t seem to care, I find it embarrassing. People tend to shy away from her, leaving her by herself. Because of this, we don’t often get invited back. At Christmas, when I received my invitation to the annual office party, I sent my regrets.

If I try to talk to my wife about this issue, she gets defensive and accuses me of picking on her. Advice?

The North 40

It would be interesting to know if your wife’s problem is an inability to comprehend English well, a hearing problem or a social anxiety disorder. Of course, we'll never know unless you’re able to have an honest conversation with her about it and explain how it affects you. If there is a solution, your wife will have to want to find it.

As to functions having to do with business, if she’s uncomfortable in that environment, then you should attend without her.

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.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Bhindi masala: </span>Fried okra in a flavorful spice paste is a surefire way to fall in love with the misunderstood vegetable.

    YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

    No slime: Indian dish brings out the best of okra

    I am glad that no one ever forced stewed okra on me during my childhood, because the stories I’ve heard from stewed-okra veterans have been traumatizing. Friends and colleagues have described memories of okra that was sulfurous and slimy and yet left a cottony feeling on their tongues and gums. (This is no coincidence: The okra plant is related to the cotton plant.)

  •  
Khuly

    Pets

    Cats can pick up virus at vet’s, but they can also transmit it themselves

    Q: Our cats had to go to the vet hospital last week to have their teeth cleaned. The procedures went very well and, as predicted, both were back to normal that evening. Unfortunately, two days later they both started sneezing. First Patches and then Stumpy came down with the exact same cold. Patches got better but we had to take Stumpy back to the hospital. We actually had to pay more for his cold than for the teeth cleaning! Shouldn’t the vet have gone easy on us since our cats live safely indoors and they obviously caught the cold there?

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Layered Tomato-Watermelon Salad</span>

    Cooking

    7 new ways to build a 7-layer salad

    From fruits to pastas, novel ideas to liven it up the next time you layer it on.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category