DEAR ABBY: I recently went to a funeral viewing for a friend's adult child whom I had never met. After entering the funeral home, I saw a computer-generated sign stating, "Please understand that we (mom, dad, brother and daughter) just couldn't be here."
Abby, I wasn't there to see the deceased; I was there to express my sympathy to the family. Why bother to have a viewing? All I wanted to say was how sorry I am for their loss. -- KAREN IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR KAREN: Please have a little less judgment and a little more compassion. Remember that not everyone deals with death in the same way. The viewing was for family members, friends and acquaintances of the deceased who COULD bear to be there. You can still express your sympathy to the grieving family by writing them a condolence letter.