DEAR ABBY: I don't know what to do. I was having an affair with the most wonderful (married) man. I'm sure that he and I were the only ones who knew. He passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. I still go to the place where we met and hung out together. In my mind, I see him walking in and speaking his last words to me.
How do I mourn for him without giving it away? He was cremated, so there's no grave to visit. I end up in tears when I visit "our" place. I need all the advice you have to offer.
- Needs Help in Massachusetts
DEAR NEEDS HELP: Please accept my sympathy for your clearly heartfelt loss. Ordinarily I'd suggest you join a grief support group, but I'm afraid if you do, you might run into his widow if you live in the same area.
It might help you to visit the place you met less often. Surely there are less painful places you can go to quietly reflect on your relationship. You might also consider discussing your feelings with a therapist or a trusted, nonjudgmental friend, because keeping these feelings bottled up is not healthy.
Couple whining about quality of wine gifts
DEAR ABBY: There is a nice couple we know who make their own wine. They give us a couple of bottles a year and ask us to return the empties, which we are happy to do.
We love good wine of all kinds. In years past, we have appreciated their wine gifts, although, to be honest, they have been of marginal quality. I usually end up using it for cooking.
We just opened their last gift, Abby, and it is so awful I won't use it even in cooking. My husband and I are now having a disagreement: He says, "Dump it and return the bottle with a thank-you." I say, "Return the leftover wine (minus a 1/4 glass), and say how much we appreciate the thought, but that it just wasn't the flavor we drink." I just don't want them to waste their wine on us and give us any more, as they work hard to make it. Please advise.
- Not A Liar in Colorado
DEAR NOT A LIAR: It might be kinder to return the empty bottle with a note thanking them and asking them to please not send you more because you are trying to cut back on your alcohol consumption. It's the truth. The alcohol you're trying to cut back on is theirs.
Quinceanera party isn't for everyone
DEAR ABBY: My daughter "Maria's" quinceanera is next year. We invited her half-siblings to come. But her father's current wife, "Elena," refuses to allow it because Elena is a Jehovah's Witness. Maria will be heartbroken that they won't be there. Is there anything I can do to persuade Elena to let them come, or would it be overstepping my place?
- Proud Mama in Kentucky
DEAR PROUD MAMA: If your daughter's half-siblings are being raised as Jehovah's Witnesses, it would be against their religious beliefs to attend her quinceanera. While I don't think it would be overstepping to talk with your ex and his wife and ask if their girls can come, do not be surprised or take it personally if the answer is still no.