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by Abigail Van Buren

Flowers For Family Funeral Leave Grandson Feeling Puzzled

DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died recently after a long life. A cousin decided that all of the grandchildren should chip in for an expensive floral arrangement. I reluctantly participated after my wife said it would be "cheap" of me to refuse.

I had a closer relationship with Grandma than most of my cousins did, but I felt it was an odd request. I have always understood that flowers were sent to the grieving family. In this instance, we were the family. It felt like we were sending condolences to ourselves. Am I wrong, or was I just being cheap, as my wife suggested? -- MOURNING IN NEVADA

DEAR MOURNING: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. Your assumption that families do not provide flowers at a loved one's funeral was incorrect. It is very common for family members to arrange for a floral display or spray of flowers for a deceased relative's casket. At a sad time like this, it is never wrong to err on the side of being generous, and I'm glad that is what you did.

Read more in: Death | Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting