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