You’re worth more than your estate
Dear Annie: I am 90 years old and, considering my age, in fairly good health. My wife of 60 years died seven years ago. Almost all of my wartime buddies are gone, as well as my high-school friends. I live in relative comfort in a retirement home. My two grown children live far away, but thanks to the internet, we keep in touch almost weekly. Thanks to a rather frugal life and some investments, I have no money problems. The problem is that as of late, I am obsessed with the thought, which tends to keep me awake at night, that it is my parental duty to die as soon as possible so as not to deplete the inheritance any further. Assisted suicide is out of the question, so that leaves the illegal type. The thought itself does not bother me, as I feel that I have lived a most interesting and exciting life — well above the average — but this is the end.
— To Be or Not to Be
Dear TBNB: Please, keep being. You’ve worked hard all your life to be able to live out a comfortable retirement and watch your grandchildren grow. Your purpose in life was never merely to provide financially for your family members; it was to support them in every sense of the word. That’s still true now.
Your great example of love, selflessness and a 60-year marriage — that is the inheritance that really matters, the gift you’ve already given your children and grandchildren.
If your savings have dwindled by the time you pass away, so what? You are so much greater than the sum of your assets, and I’m sure that if your family members knew you were feeling this way, they would tell you the same thing.
If you find yourself consumed with persistent thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Dear Annie: I was recently married and had a big, fancy, expensive wedding. I limited guests to close friends, relatives and just a few “friends” from work. The cost per plate was $125.
Here is the problem:
One of the “friends” from work I invited was with her on-again, off-again boyfriend at the time. After receiving her invitation, she asked me at work whether she could bring him. I was a little put back, as it was an expensive wedding and I had not originally included her boyfriend because they were not in a committed relationship. Being put on the spot, I told her she could bring him.
Well, the wedding came, and they both came, ate, drank at the free open bar and danced.
After our honeymoon, my husband and I opened all the cards and gifts. There was nothing from her, not even a card.
It’s not that I was expecting a present, but I thought it rude and unusual for a guest to not even bring a card. I never said anything to her about it but rather stayed cool toward her afterward.
— Wondering in Upstate New York
Dear Wondering: Traditional etiquette holds that guests have up to one year after a wedding to send a gift, although ideally they should send their gifts within two months. It’s very possible that your gift will arrive any day now, so warm back up to your co-worker.