DEAR ABBY: My father-in-law died two weeks ago. The services were beautiful. Many people sent flowers, but one arrangement -- a bouquet of white flowers -- arrived anonymously. I didn't think much about it, just that someone wanted to express sympathy. Now my mother-in-law has become frantic with concern about the flowers. She sobs over not knowing who sent them and -- we think -- suspects they came from an old or not-so-old flame.
My in-laws were married for more than 50 years, and it is heartbreaking to see her compound her grief with these thoughts. We have suggested various reasons that someone might have sent the flowers anonymously, but she refuses to accept them.
Is sending flowers this way unusual? Or are there good reasons to do it? For the record, is it even good manners to send flowers to a funeral anonymously? Or is my mother-in-law's reaction normal? -- GRIEVING IN GEORGETOWN, TEXAS
DEAR GRIEVING: Your mother-in-law is grieving. She is fragile right now, and possibly not thinking straight. A card may have been sent with the bouquet that was somehow lost in transit.
That she was married to her husband for 50 years and now suspects he was unfaithful because of a bouquet of flowers at the man's funeral is a sad reflection on their marriage. She should discuss this with her spiritual adviser, if she has one, or a grief therapist.