Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 37-year-old married witch. I do not hide my practice. After my grandfather’s death, my extended family began taking it upon themselves to say grace before family meals as a way to honor his memory. This, despite the fact that my grandfather did not attend church or express any religious views.
I find this change not only offensive to my husband and me, but also to my grandfather, who would not have approved. I have said nothing to them about it because I do not want a religious sermon. However, I am getting tired of biting my tongue or finding ways to avoid this part of our family get-togethers.
My mother is very accepting of our way of life. My father either doesn’t know or doesn’t understand. How do I continue to endure this offense? I do not expect them to change their faith, but it would be nice if they realized it isn’t the way my grandfather ran the family. — Pagan in a Christian Family
Dear Pagan: How your family chooses to celebrate the rituals of their religious beliefs is up to them. If they say grace at their table, please try to remain respectfully silent. You do not have to participate, but you also don’t get to decide how they behave in their own home. They are not trying to offend you. As you would like them to be tolerant of your beliefs, please return the favor.
Dear Annie: Several years ago, I lost my mother. After her funeral, a relative handed me an envelope. I opened it to find pictures of my mother in her casket. This was devastating and emotionally upsetting.
My mother was a wonderful, loving, fun person. That is how I want to remember her and how she would want to be remembered. Those pictures were the worst things anyone has ever given me. I realize the relative had good intentions, but truly, it was horrible to open that envelope.
It has been several years, and I have done my best to put this out of my mind. But not long ago, another relative handed me casket photographs of my recently deceased aunt. Why would people take pictures of loved ones when they are dead?
I have asked my husband to have my casket closed when I die because I can’t bear the thought of people standing over my remains with a camera. I understand not everyone feels as I do, but I would like to ask all well-meaning folks to save the photo opportunities for weddings and family reunions and leave the dead alone. Or at least ask the family whether they would mind if pictures are taken. — No Photo Op
Dear No Photo Op: Your last sentence is the key. A century ago, it was common to take photographs of the deceased, and some families truly appreciate and find comfort in these pictures. But as a matter of respect and consideration, it is important that the photographer first ask whether it is OK. Handing someone an envelope of such pictures can be unwelcome and upsetting.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Getting Anxious,” the recently engaged young woman who suffers from hyperhidrosis. I, too, suffered from this embarrassing condition for many years. I tried prescription as well as over-the-counter treatments, to no avail.
Finally, I had a bilateral sympathectomy. That was 11 years ago, and it truly was one of the best decisions of my life. I can now shake hands, wear latex gloves and do all the things “normal” people take for granted. Please encourage her to look into it. — Not Sweating it Anymore in Pennsylvania
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.24.10