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Article posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015 3:10pm

Dear Mary Pat,

My ex-husband’s father just passed away and I don’t know whether to attend the memorial or not. His father and I were close during the 16 years we were married, however, I don’t want to be disrespectful to him or his new wife. We have been divorced for more than seven years and we live in separate states. I didn’t even know that my former father-in-law was ill. If my mom hadn’t sent me the obituary, I doubt I would have known. Just torn on the right thing to do.

Signed,

Grieving Ex

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Dear Grieving Ex,

Wakes and funerals are mostly to support the family and friends left behind. Since your ex-husband didn’t let you know that his dad was sick, it sounds like you do not communicate on a regular basis. I’m sure you are sad and want to honor your former father-in-law, however, it might be more appropriate for you to do so from afar. Since you aren’t in the same town or even in the same state, I don’t think you have to attend. It would probably be more meaningful to send a card to your ex-husband and to your former mother-in-law if she is still living. You might even consider sending a donation to his favorite charity or flowers. Hopefully your ex-husband and his family will graciously accept your condolences. Whether they acknowledge it or not, you are still doing the right thing.

Good luck,

Mary Pat