DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been informed that a family headstone has been purchased, and our share is $2,000 -- each. This was never discussed among the family members. The cemetery is located out of state. My husband is in the military, and we had planned to use the military cemetery where we live for a small fee. We think the family was rude and presumptuous planning for our deaths.
Because we declined, the family no longer speaks to us, which breaks our hearts. I am sure it is a tactic to wear us down.
We have received an e-mail telling us we are no longer welcome to attend the family reunion this summer unless we fork over the $4,000 and agree to have our names placed on the headstone. Your opinion, please, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. -- NOT DEAD AND BURIED YET
DEAR NOT D AND B: If you were truly considered "part of the family," you would have been part of the discussion and planning for that headstone. The silent treatment your family is giving you is emotional blackmail. Do not give in. Sad as it may be, recognize that you were already "excommunicated" when you were excluded from the planning and the purchase of the plot, not because you refused their demand.