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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Sep 30, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I was divorced 14 years ago. Afterward, my ex, "Tom," hid from me because he was afraid I'd have him arrested for not paying child support.

Our son is a Marine, and the Red Cross notified him that his father was dying in a hospital on the East Coast. My ex's aunt had contacted them to notify my son as next of kin. Tom had remarried, divorced again and had a girlfriend. He died a few days later.

Nobody is willing to pay for his cremation. I asked his sister and aunt if we could split the bill three ways, even though I realize I'm not obligated. They refused, even after being told the remains would be deemed "unclaimed." The county would dispose of him as an indigent drifter. Their excuse was they hadn't heard from him in several years. I told them they were preaching to the choir, since I was the one he hid from.

I do not resent my ex because I realize his death was as unpredictable as his life. But I do feel bitterly taken advantage of. When I accused his relatives of false concern, they got angry at me. How can I demonstrate honor to my son by dishonoring his father that way?-- ON THE SPOT IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ON THE SPOT: You are not the next of kin; your son is. Ask him what he thinks would be the appropriate way to handle his deadbeat dad's remains. You made the effort to have the family pay for the burial, and that should show your son that you tried to honor his father.

I don't know how long it has been since your ex passed, but this is a case where the body could have been donated to a medical school. There is nothing dishonorable about that.

DEAR ABBY: A friend who lives out of town asked me if she can stay with me for a few days. We often host each other. However, she also mentioned that she has a bedbug infestation.

I could take precautions, but some friends have said it was nervy of her to even ask because it put me in an awkward position. I honestly would prefer she not come, but I feel guilty. Any advice?-- POSSIBLE HOST IN NEW YORK

DEAR POSSIBLE HOST: Yes. Tell your friend you would love to see her, but in light of her revelation, you think it would be better if she stays in a hotel during this visit. And unless you are absolutely sure that her home and clothing are insect-free, entertain her away from your dwelling. Bedbugs can cling to everything -- suitcases, clothing, you name it. Hostess, protect thyself.

DEAR ABBY: My husband died three years ago and I'm still grieving deeply. Time hasn't made it easier; in fact, it's getting more difficult. No one around me understands or even cares, for that matter.

How do I find a good therapist? I don't know what questions to ask to see if I can trust him or her with my thoughts, and if we would get along. Any suggestions?-- DYING OF A BROKEN HEART

DEAR DYING: A way to find a good therapist would be to ask friends and/or your doctor for referrals and explain that since your husband's death your grief hasn't lessened. Your state psychological association can also provide the names of members who specialize in grief counseling.

Interview several prospective therapists. A question you should ask is how many patients with your problem he or she has successfully treated. However, the bottom line is whether you feel the therapist listens well and has the compassion to help you, which is as important as any diploma hanging on the wall. You'll know when you meet someone you are comfortable with.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#2 Sep 30, 2013
LW1: Your son is a grown man. This is really his problem to deal with. I'm not sure why he is cut out of the picture and you are handling this.

I would talk to your son and see how he feels. Surely if he is a Marine, he has income. Maybe the two of you can work something out, or maybe he doesn’t care if the state takes care of the body, since he seems to have not been involved in his life. If my dad abandoned me, didn’t help pay for my upbringing, and had little to nothing to do with me as a child, I probably wouldn’t care.

LW2: Hells no. Not even if she comes wearing a flea collar.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#3 Sep 30, 2013
L1 You are On the Spot because you put yourself there. The ex stopped being your problem 14 years ago. If his own sister, aunt and son don't care how/if he gets buried, then you shouldn't be worried about it either.

And your son is an adult. Stop trying to fix stuff for him.

L2 She told you about the infestation and asked if she could still stay with you. She knows it's a problem, so tell her no like she is expecting and enjoy your visits outside of your home.

L3 "No one around me understands or even cares, for that matter." Nailed it. No one understands. You are the first person EVER to lose someone you love.

Ask your doctor for a referral to a good therapist, but I don't have very high hopes for you.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Sep 30, 2013
Team Itser all the way.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#6 Sep 30, 2013
ditto.
PEllen wrote:
Team Itser all the way.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#7 Sep 30, 2013
L1. Yeah, I knew a guy years ago who drank himself to death, burning bridges all along the way.
Anyway, he wasn't necessarily a bad guy. As a matter of fact, he was OK when he was sober. He was only in his mid-30's when he passed away and nobody claimed his body, not even his family.
From what I understand the county kept him on ice for about six months until they either creamated or buried him in a pauper's grave.
I don't know exactly they did with his remains.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#8 Sep 30, 2013
I should add this...

I HATE hearing someone say they know exactly how a grieving person feels, because they have had a similar loss. That isn't true. I know how I felt when each of my parents died, for example. That doesn't mean I know how a coworker is feeling. I don't even know exactly how my siblings felt. It isn't meant that way, but it comes off, at least to me, as dismissive.

My sister, my only sister, was recently given a prognosis of six months. One of my coworkers is always telling me that she knows just what I am going through, cuz she's been there and done that.

F' Off.
You aren't me, and this isn't your relationship. You don't know how I feel. But to think that no one uderstands or cares that LW is grieving is just wrong, and I would bet that friends and family are pulling away.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#9 Sep 30, 2013
L2: Definitely don't let her stay with you - duh - but I think it's inconsiderate of her to travel at all until her "infestation" is resolved. Knowingly bringing bedbugs to a hotel is a shitty thing to do.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#10 Sep 30, 2013
Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite! And if they do, I'll beat em til they're black and blue, and fry them up just for you!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#11 Sep 30, 2013
itser wrote:
I should add this...
I HATE hearing someone say they know exactly how a grieving person feels, because they have had a similar loss. That isn't true. I know how I felt when each of my parents died, for example. That doesn't mean I know how a coworker is feeling. I don't even know exactly how my siblings felt. It isn't meant that way, but it comes off, at least to me, as dismissive.
My sister, my only sister, was recently given a prognosis of six months. One of my coworkers is always telling me that she knows just what I am going through, cuz she's been there and done that.
F' Off.
You aren't me, and this isn't your relationship. You don't know how I feel. But to think that no one uderstands or cares that LW is grieving is just wrong, and I would bet that friends and family are pulling away.
That is really rough about your sister.

Is she local to you?Will you ( and do you) want to send time with her?

One thing about imaginary friends is that you can vent and not have to look at us in the morning if you don't want.

Permission given

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#12 Sep 30, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
That is really rough about your sister.
Is she local to you?Will you ( and do you) want to send time with her?
One thing about imaginary friends is that you can vent and not have to look at us in the morning if you don't want.
Permission given
Thanks. Unfortunately, she lives much closer to Mimi than to me so I will only be able to see her when I can take some vacation time and go out there for a couple weeks at a time. Wish I could be there more, just to spend time with her, but also because she listens to me better than anyone else when it comes to doing stuff to help fight it...eat right, rest WITHOUT the cell phone to her ear, getting her goofball friends and their endless drama out of the house, whatever.

She has been fighting cancer for a long long time and we know that one of these times, she's going to lose the fight. It may even be this time, but she's doing chemo and radiation and we will see. It looked like we would lose her this last winter and I went out to be with her. She was saying "Can't do this anymore. Just let me go. Let me go." I pointed out that she had said the same thing the last time and asked if she regretted that I didn't listen then, and whether the 5 years since had been worth the agony of that treatment. She agreed that it was worth it, and as long as she could say that, she would keep fighting. However, one day it won't be worth it, and if she gets to the point where there is no reprieve between rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery, she's going to say no more and we will honor that.

And thanks for the venting spot!:-)
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#13 Sep 30, 2013
LW1: Tom died indigent and unloved. Sad, but he made his own bed. I like Abby's idea of donating his body to a medical school. That way, some good will come of his existence.

LW2: NO. Offer to find her a nice, reasonably priced hotel.

LW3: The right therapist can help, but you need to get out there and find something outside of yourself that you can be passionate about. Learn to play an instrument, or dance, or paint, or something.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#14 Sep 30, 2013
LW1 - i know someone who was next of kin to an alcoholic father. he was like 19 IIRC when the father died, and taht awas after 15+ years of raucus "parenting". the guy had very little estate; any money went to the very stripped down funeral, adn the only asset was his crappy car. the son's mother threatened to sue for it, saying it was her due - never mind they'd been divorced for more than 15 years. so, i guess, my message is that it could be worse. i like teh idea of donating to science. LW could do the legwork & have her son sign off on it when he can.

LW3 - contact teh funeral home/service you worked with or the local hospice service. i know the major hospice by us has a good netwrok of referral services/

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#15 Sep 30, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
LW1: Tom died indigent and unloved. Sad, but he made his own bed. I like Abby's idea of donating his body to a medical school. That way, some good will come of his existence.
LW2: NO. Offer to find her a nice, reasonably priced hotel.
LW3: The right therapist can help, but you need to get out there and find something outside of yourself that you can be passionate about. Learn to play an instrument, or dance, or paint, or something.
Only people who are official kin, like blood or current marriage can say what to do with the body ...unless the body wrote something down when he was alive.
My guess is it will be the son's choice. The military people can weigh in, but I suggest the son talk to the chaplain about his rights and his obligations.

For all you who don't think much of marriage, if your long time SO croaks you have no says in where and how his remains are disposed of and no claim on any of his property that your name is not on officially. SOL. The girl he married in 1988 and never got around to divorcing has more say than you do.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#16 Sep 30, 2013
itser wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks. Unfortunately, she lives much closer to Mimi than to me so I will only be able to see her when I can take some vacation time and go out there for a couple weeks at a time. Wish I could be there more, just to spend time with her, but also because she listens to me better than anyone else when it comes to doing stuff to help fight it...eat right, rest WITHOUT the cell phone to her ear, getting her goofball friends and their endless drama out of the house, whatever.
She has been fighting cancer for a long long time and we know that one of these times, she's going to lose the fight. It may even be this time, but she's doing chemo and radiation and we will see. It looked like we would lose her this last winter and I went out to be with her. She was saying "Can't do this anymore. Just let me go. Let me go." I pointed out that she had said the same thing the last time and asked if she regretted that I didn't listen then, and whether the 5 years since had been worth the agony of that treatment. She agreed that it was worth it, and as long as she could say that, she would keep fighting. However, one day it won't be worth it, and if she gets to the point where there is no reprieve between rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery, she's going to say no more and we will honor that.
And thanks for the venting spot!:-)
Don't discount all that drama. It is something to think about other than the green meanies growing in her breast and brain.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#17 Sep 30, 2013
itser wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks. Unfortunately, she lives much closer to Mimi than to me so I will only be able to see her when I can take some vacation time and go out there for a couple weeks at a time. Wish I could be there more, just to spend time with her, but also because she listens to me better than anyone else when it comes to doing stuff to help fight it...eat right, rest WITHOUT the cell phone to her ear, getting her goofball friends and their endless drama out of the house, whatever.
She has been fighting cancer for a long long time and we know that one of these times, she's going to lose the fight. It may even be this time, but she's doing chemo and radiation and we will see. It looked like we would lose her this last winter and I went out to be with her. She was saying "Can't do this anymore. Just let me go. Let me go." I pointed out that she had said the same thing the last time and asked if she regretted that I didn't listen then, and whether the 5 years since had been worth the agony of that treatment. She agreed that it was worth it, and as long as she could say that, she would keep fighting. However, one day it won't be worth it, and if she gets to the point where there is no reprieve between rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery, she's going to say no more and we will honor that.
And thanks for the venting spot!:-)
Sorry that your sister is going through all of this. My co-worker has stage 4 breast cancer and has been through two rounds of chemo and surgery. The good thing is that she retains her positive outlook. I read a article late last week about a potential new cancer drug that will work on all types of cancer. I hope this is real and that it gets past the clinical trials quickly.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#18 Sep 30, 2013
LW1: I think it would be cool to be donated to one of those outdoor labs so students can see how bodies decompose under different conditions.

LW2: Ew.

LW3: There are support groups for everything; find one for grief and start going, alot. Probably someone there will be able to recommend a therapist if the group setting doesn't help.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#19 Sep 30, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't discount all that drama. It is something to think about other than the green meanies growing in her breast and brain.
It is, but there are good things to think about too, and she gets so stressed out trying to fix everything for everyone else, and then she doesn't sleep and gets too upset to eat. When I got there last time, there were 6 people in her ICU room (not family) and they were all byotching about work and petty little squabbles while she was laying there in tears. She called the nurse in, introduced me and said I could speak for her. First thing I said was...everybody out, then I sat down and held her hand while she went to sleep. Nurse said that was the first she had really slept since being admitted.
I didn't want anyone putting on a fake happy face, but it isn't her job to fix all their bullchit. So, once she got home, I told everyone to have 5 positive topics in mind before they came over, and no more mob visits. She did an awesome rebound, and according to her, a lot of the credit goes to me being a gatekeeper. Once I left, everyone started dumping on her again and she slowed way down on her recovery.

It helped her. I'm not saying that is a good approach with everyone. It wouldn't be for me. I would hate having someone else try to take over my personal life like that. But it works for her. She got the peace and quiet without having to be "mean" to anyone. And I don't care if people who think it's OK to bicker over a friend's hospital bed have a negative opinion of me.

That was all before they found this most recent tumor, of course.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#20 Sep 30, 2013
I saw that on Bones! Funny/gross.
squishymama wrote:
LW1: I think it would be cool to be donated to one of those outdoor labs so students can see how bodies decompose under different conditions.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#21 Sep 30, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry that your sister is going through all of this. My co-worker has stage 4 breast cancer and has been through two rounds of chemo and surgery. The good thing is that she retains her positive outlook. I read a article late last week about a potential new cancer drug that will work on all types of cancer. I hope this is real and that it gets past the clinical trials quickly.
thanks!

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