DEAR ABBY: My family has always had its share of eccentrics, but my older brother, "Rusty," has me perplexed. His mother-in-law, "Louise," passed away six months ago and was cremated per her wishes. She left a considerable amount of money to my brother and sister-in-law -- well into seven figures. Rusty was always fond of his mother-in-law, and I recognize their bond, but his actions of late have grown bizarre.
Rusty now takes Louise's ashes with him to family functions, graduations, camping trips -- and even got a permit to take her remains sailing with them in the Caribbean.
Louise travels first class to more places and attends more functions as cremains than she did when she was flesh and blood. Meanwhile, our own dear mother is still living, and she is never invited to accompany them on any of these trips.
What's your reading of this? -- POOR BUT SANE BROTHER
DEAR BROTHER: Your brother could have separation issues with Louise, or he could be overwhelmingly grateful for the windfall she left them. He may bring the ashes to family functions in an effort to assure that Louise, although gone, is not forgotten.
Your signature indicates that you suspect your brother may have lost touch with reality. Mention your concerns to your brother. If he doesn't have a logical explanation, mention your concerns to his wife. If she agrees, he should have a mental and neurological evaluation.