DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law passed away two years ago from lung cancer. My father-in-law hasn't taken it well. This year at Christmas he fabricated a letter and gifts "from her" for the grandkids, as if she had written the letter and bought the gifts before she passed away. He did it without my knowledge.
I am angry and upset that I was made part of this lie without my consent. I refuse to lie to my daughter about this and plan to throw the letter away. My daughter is 6 and doesn't seem to understand. My husband doesn't think it's that big a deal and doesn't know what he can do about it.
I loved my mother-in-law, but I'm tired of dealing with this. This is not the first strange thing my father-in-law has done. I feel like I get no support from my husband, who won't ever say anything to his dad. Am I right in how I feel? -- DON'T WANT TO LIE IN OHIO
DEAR DON'T WANT TO LIE: Of course you are right. Your father-in-law appears to be grieving deeply for his wife, and he may not be able to work through it without the aid of a grief support group or a therapist.
You should also be aware that a severe emotional shock can sometimes cause the onset of dementia in older adults. If his strange behavior continues, then for his own sake, he may need to be evaluated by his doctor, and your husband would be doing his father no favors to ignore it.