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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Traumatized by Sister's Murder Feels Need for Closure

DEAR ABBY: I lost my sister in a brutal murder several years ago. I was too emotionally upset to view her body or go to the trial. As a result of not having been physically connected to her passing, I have lacked closure all these years.

I believe I am finally ready to face the reality and deal with it now. As part of the process of moving on, I would like to say goodbye to her at the last place I remember her living, which is the house she spent so much time and effort on and where she was murdered. The house sold shortly after it was listed.

I can't conceive of imposing on the new owners with my own "issues," so I do not intend to knock on the door and explain who I am. I am wondering, however, about the appropriateness of leaving a basket of my sister's favorite flowers on the front porch in her memory. I feel like I need to leave something for her.

If this would be all right to do, would a note to the effect of wishing the house and its owners a new beginning be the thing to do, or not including a note at all? I'm at a loss. -- LOST IN MONTANA

DEAR LOST: Please accept my sympathy for the tragic loss of your sister. I would not advise anonymously leaving flowers on the doorstep because it might upset the new homeowners. However, a signed card, with a message wishing them a lifetime of happiness in this house that has a special meaning for you because your beloved sister once lived there, might be something they would enjoy while providing closure for you.

Read more in: Death