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by Abigail Van Buren

Houseguests Hesitate to Stay in Room Where Mom Died

DEAR ABBY: My mother died in her sleep last year at our home. She was 97. We cleaned the carpets and repainted the room, removed the hospital bed and replaced it with a brand-new one.

We recently asked some friends to stay overnight at our house, and they called back to ask if they would be staying in the room Mama had died in. We have a second guest room, although it's smaller and so is the bed (full, not a queen). They seemed hesitant.

After the call I found myself feeling offended. I keep thinking that if the shoe was on the other foot, would they shut down a room of their home if someone had died there? We have had other houseguests who didn't mind staying in the room.

These people are supposed to arrive soon. Should we arrange for them to stay at a hotel? -- FEELING OFFENDED

DEAR FEELING: Please don't take their reaction as a personal insult. Many people are squeamish about staying in a room in which someone has died. I see no reason to banish these people to a hotel during their visit. Call them back, offer them the smaller guest room and enjoy their visit.

Read more in: Death | Friends & Neighbors