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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Ready to Return Late Wife's Keepsakes to Her Family

DEAR ABBY: My first wife, "Charlene," died eight years ago from an accident caused by her diabetes. Six months after her funeral, I was introduced to a lovely woman and subsequently married her. When I told my former mother-in-law I had started seeing someone, she asked me to cease all contact with her and the rest of the family. I complied with her wish.

Since Charlene's death, I have kept her personal photo album. It contains pictures and memorabilia from when she was a child and teenager. I also have some afghans her grandmother made for her. I would like to return them to her parents, but I'm afraid of the potential pain it could cause.

I considered writing her mother a letter letting her know I have these things and would like to return them. I know there's really no way of easing into this. I'm pretty sure, however, that a mom would like to have her daughter's things. Your advice would be appreciated. -- TREADING LIGHTLY

DEAR TREADING: Because the items belonged to her daughter, box them up and send them to your ex-mother-in-law. And when you do, include a note explaining that you thought she would like to have them. Period.

Read more in: Death | Family & Parenting