DEAR ABBY: I would like to address funeral etiquette. I'm aware of how times have changed, but certain manners and traditions should continue.
When my parents died, generous friends and neighbors brought food to my family's home for all of us to share. They came and sat with us; we ate and shared comforting stories.
My husband died eight years ago. Again, I was blessed with neighbors and military friends bringing food and prepared meals.
Recently, a friend's father passed away. I knew I couldn't attend the funeral because they live thousands of miles away -- so I ordered a ham to be delivered to their home.
My friend and her family haven't stopped thanking me. I was later told that relatives arrived empty-handed. No one brought food, nor did they make an effort to go to a store to purchase any! They expected to be fed and waited on. I am so upset knowing these lazy relatives did nothing to help the widow and children.
It's terrible that people today don't think about the needs of the grieving family. -- UPSET IN OCEANSIDE, CALIF.
DEAR UPSET: Funeral traditions vary among religious and ethnic groups, not to mention geographic areas of the country. Sometimes it is expected that the family of the deceased will provide food for mourners who come to express their condolences. Sometimes fellow church members provide food. In many cases, food is brought to the grieving family by compassionate friends who realize there may be little time to prepare meals in the midst of funeral preparations.
However, your reminder is a good one. It expresses compassion and concern for people in their time of sorrow. Better to have too much comfort food on hand than too little.