DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend of mine died last week. Going through my address book today looking for someone else, I came across my deceased friend's name. When is it appropriate to remove it, or is it a matter of dealing with grief?
GENTLE READER: How could it be rude to remove a telephone number that is no longer useful to you, when the person concerned will never know?
That is the practical answer. Yet Miss Manners is well aware of how it feels. Piety toward the dead may not be reasonably defensible, but it is an important part of the human condition. So the answer is to leave it there until the pang it gives you to remove it is manageable, which could be sooner, later or never.