DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law (I'll call her Nora) died after a long battle with cancer. After the funeral, everyone came back to the house, and it turned into the party of the year.
Five months later, my father-in-law began dating Nora's best friend, "Zelda." One month later, they were engaged. Two months later, Zelda moved in. They plan to marry in March.
My father-in-law acts like he's 18 years old. Dad and Zelda are an embarrassment in public. Since Nora passed away, Dad seems relieved that he can get on with his life.
I am very upset about this, but it is hard since we live only five miles away. Is this normal behavior? -- DAUGHTER-IN-LAW IN ILLINOIS
DEAR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: Not everyone reacts to death in the same way. Some people are so depressed they can barely function without medical assistance. Emotions, which are very close to the surface, sometimes become confused. Laughing jags occur when one might expect tears. Some religious groups concentrate on the positive aspects, choosing to celebrate life and the fact that the deceased is no longer suffering.
It's not unusual for a grieving spouse to find solace with a close friend of the deceased, nor is it unheard of to want to live life to its fullest after witnessing the death of a loved one.