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Dear Abby 9/20

Death in her family leaves girl feeling sad and confused

    DEAR ABBY: I am almost 13. There has been a recent death in the family. My aunt and a very close family friend were both killed in a car crash.
    Every time I hear a sad song or a song my aunt or the friend liked, I want to cry, but I can’t. In school, when I hear something that reminds me of my aunt, I want to cry, but I don’t want to humiliate myself.
    My little sister is very new to the whole death situation. She doesn’t know how to handle it, so she expresses it in anger. Can you help me? — MISSING MY AUNT IN NEW YORK
    DEAR MISSING YOUR AUNT: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. Death is hard for anyone to cope with, but at the tender ages of you and your sister it can be particularly traumatic.
    You could both benefit from grief counseling, because talking about your feelings is an effective and healthy way to deal with loss. Also, if you feel the need to cry, remember that tears are healing. If you are embarrassed to cry in front of schoolmates, excuse yourself and do it in private.
    Sometimes people need help in finding their way through the grief process. Your parents, clergyperson or a counselor at school can help you get it. So please don’t wait to ask.

    DEAR ABBY: I did something I really regret. I was given a beautifully wrapped gift for my wedding. I was told what it was and, because I had already received one as a gift, I decided to give it to someone else who was being married. The problem is, I never opened the beautiful package.
    Later I realized there could have been a card inside with my name on it.
     I have a feeling the recipient of the regifted item found something that let her know it was not meant for them. Should I confront the person and fess up?
    It has been 12 years, and she is my husband’s relative. Needless to say, I have not been invited to any more family bridal showers, baby showers, etc. I feel so guilty. Please warn people not to make the same mistake. — CAUGHT REGIFTING IN DELAWARE
    DEAR CAUGHT REGIFTING: I’m pleased to oblige. However, I see nothing wrong with regifting, as long as it isn’t obvious, and obviously you should have checked the gift and rewrapped it before sending it to the bridal couple.
    What I do see as problematic is the fact that you have been excluded from family gatherings for the last 12 years. By all means say something to this relative. Begin by telling her how much you enjoyed the gift you were given, which is why when you discovered you had a duplicate, you passed the gift along to her. Then listen to what she has to say.

    DEAR ABBY: What is your opinion of a husband who plans a cruise with you and then invites most of his co-workers — none of whom are taking their husbands? So, now I’m going on a cruise with 10 women and my husband. What do you think about that? — DIANE IN BROWNS MILLS, N.J.
    DEAR DIANE: A couple of thoughts come to mind. Your husband may be trying to write off the cruise as a business expense — and when tax season is here, it will be interesting to see how the IRS reacts. It also appears your husband has some issues regarding intimacy because he seems to have gone to great lengths to prevent you from having much quiet time together.

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