DEAR ABBY: My beloved aunt died more than a month ago. I found out a few days ago when I called the rest home to check on her prior to the visit I was planning. I was devastated by the news. I felt I had lost a piece of my soul. My aunt and I had been close since I was a small child.
I live several hours away from the rest home and the drive is difficult for me, but I visited her as often as I could, and we would talk for hours. My sister, who lives much closer, has been taking care of this aunt on a day-to-day basis. Many years ago, my husband and my sister had a conflict that put a rift between us. However, we had been able to put the rift aside a couple of times for family functions.
My sister made all the arrangements for my aunt's funeral, but she never even told me that our aunt had died. I had to learn of Aunty's death from a nurse long after the funeral. I know my aunt would have wanted me there.
Abby, I could never do such a thing to anyone, and I don't understand how my sister could have been so cruel as to keep this from me. Is there any justification for this? Even if my sister had a problem with my husband, our aunt loved us both, and aren't her wishes the ones that should have been respected?
I hope your answer will provide me with some understanding and help me live with the pain. -- DEVASTATED IN IOWA
DEAR DEVASTATED: Of course your aunt's wishes should have been respected. I see absolutely no justification for your sister's cruelty. If you sincerely want to resolve this injustice, ask your sister to explain her behavior. She OWES you an explanation.