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by Abigail Van Buren

Last Rites for Dying Wife Were Comfort to Her Family

DEAR ABBY: My wife, a convert to reform Judaism, died this past year. The day before she passed, while she was in a coma, Roman Catholic family members asked if they could bring in a priest. I said OK because I knew it meant a lot to them. A priest came and administered last rites. (My wife was born and raised a Catholic.)

I have been having serious second thoughts about my decision. Nobody outside my family knows about this. Did I make the right call, or should I have politely told my wife's family that I could not agree to their request? -- TROUBLED REFORM JEW

DEAR TROUBLED: Your wife, who had converted to Judaism, was comatose. What happened at her bedside made no difference to her at that point. It was kind and generous of you to allow the priest to come for the sake of your in-laws. You did it for the right reasons, so please do not second-guess yourself now. What happened does not impugn the authenticity of the Jewish rites that you used to bury her.

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