Talk to clergyman about forgotten memorial

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I have been grieving the death of my best friend and soul mate for almost 18 months. We were senior citizens who never married for financial reasons. As a memorial tribute, I bought an Easter lily to be placed in my church on Easter Sunday. The purchase was made through a lady at church, and I wrote his name in the space provided for the memorial. His name was not printed on the memorial profile. Instead, it was printed that I had given the lily "To the Glory of God." I am upset that the church would not honor my wishes and am thinking of not going back. I know that this was not done in error, as every other memorial tribute was mentioned by name. I feel betrayed, as I did not know that people in the church were judging me and my relationship with him. What should I do?


DEAR BETRAYED: This is an important matter -- and one that should be taken directly to clergy. Your clergy member might say church "policy" dictates that only married couples may memorialize each other by name. If so, you might want to seek another place of worship. If not, you deserve a sincere apology.

Meeting with clergy also would give you the opportunity to discuss your loss and the grief you are experiencing.

DEAR AMY: What has happened in recent years, where daughters-in-law don't offer to help with the dishes? Or even help to clear the table? My son always helps clear the table, but his wife just sits there like a princess. She used to help before they were married. I asked my son one time why she has stopped. He said that is how her family behaves; if one is invited to their house, there is no expectation for a guest to help, and vice versa. Why am I expected to follow her traditions, especially when I always helped when my mother-in-law did the cooking? I've been on this earth for a lot longer than my daughter-in-law, and she expects me to go by her rules?


DEAR UPSET: Your attitude toward this, and your behavior, is passive-aggressive and unkind.

Families all have different ways of handling this sort of thing. In my family, if you set foot in the kitchen while at another family member's house, you take your life in your hands.

At my in-laws' home, everybody pitches in -- especially the men, who usually insist on doing the dishes (they're bossy).

I prescribe a "do-over" for you and your daughter-in-law. The next time they come over, simply say to her -- kindly, please -- "Mildred, would you mind helping with the dishes (or making coffee, or helping serve dessert)? I'd appreciate it so much."