DEAR ABBY: Three months ago, my cousin "Jacob" married a wonderful woman I'll call Kate. Only days after their wedding, she was diagnosed with advanced, inoperable cancer. Though we thought she might be with us for one last Christmas, she passed away just after Thanksgiving.
The day after the funeral, Jacob began receiving phone calls from Kate's family, demanding the return of the wedding gifts they had given this couple only seven weeks before. One of them even had the audacity to tell Jacob that she didn't want to "waste her money" on him since Kate was dead!
I would understand if Jacob had divorced his wife, or if the marriage had been annulled, but this poor man lost his bride to cancer -- he certainly didn't push her away. Abby, Jacob is heartbroken. He certainly cannot deal with returning wedding gifts so her relatives can get their money back.
Kate's family is large, and Jacob has gotten at least two phone calls every day for a week -- sometimes more. Personally, I think what they're proposing is indecent. What is the appropriate response to Kate's family? -- AGHAST IN ARIZONA
DEAR AGHAST: Just when I think I've heard everything, along comes a letter like yours. Jacob kept his marriage vows -- to love, honor and cherish Kate until death parted them. He is entitled to keep the wedding gifts and to far more consideration than he's receiving from his late wife's family. As for the "appropriate response" to Kate's family, I wouldn't blame Jacob if he changed his phone number to one that's unlisted.