DEAR ABBY: My husband and I went to a funeral to pay our respects to our neighbor and his family for the loss of his father. I had met the parents on a few prior occasions; my husband had not.

As I was expressing my sympathy and talking with the widow about her husband and their life together, she became a little teary-eyed – so I continued to stand with her and hold her hand and speak with her. The incident lasted about two or three minutes.

My husband feels I should have only expressed my condolences and quickly moved on. I am mortified that I may have done something inappropriate and caused this woman pain. What should I have done? – WONDERING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR WONDERING: A funeral is not an assembly line. You did the right thing by taking the widow’s hand, expressing your condolences, and allowing her to share her feelings. Your husband may have been embarrassed by the grieving woman’s display of emotions, but that is his problem, so please don’t allow him to make it yours.

DEAR ABBY: I have a mondo problem. I think my mom doesn’t like me anymore. When I fell off my bike head-first without a helmet, she said I was “overdramatic.”

I have fallen down 18 feet of stairs four times, and my dad was the only one who helped me. Sometimes my mom is really nice, but I am a little scared of her.

I would tell her myself, but I am 12 and still very sensitive. Please help. – SCARED GIRL IN NASHVILLE

DEAR SCARED: Please clip this from the newspaper and put it on your mother’s pillow:

DEAR MOTHER: Your little girl is either accident-prone or trying to get your attention. Please put forth a little more effort to show her you love her. A hug would be a good way to start. And because she will soon be a young woman, giving her a little more time would be greatly beneficial. She needs you very much, and it’s sad that she had to do it through me.

DEAR ABBY: We have two beloved (deceased) pets – a rabbit and a bird, buried in our back yard. Within the next two to five years, we plan to sell our house and move out of state.

What should we do about the pets we have buried in our yard? Should we leave their remains and just take along their plaques – or take their remains and bury them at our new residence? This may seem like a silly question, but I’m terribly concerned. – BRENDA IN LAKELAND, FLA.

DEAR BRENDA: No question that’s sincere is “silly.”

While some readers may disagree, I think you would be doing all involved a favor to leave the remains where they are. Your present home is the place where your pets lived full and happy lives – and that is where their little spirits should remain, free to frolic forever.

DEAR ABBY: I want to know if you can become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict.

Please don’t print my name because I live in a small, conservative community in Ohio. – NAMELESS IN A RED STATE

DEAR NAMELESS: Although you cannot become addicted to drugs by having sex with an addict, you CAN become addicted to drugs if you hang around with addicts and frequent places where drugs are easily available. (This is one of those situations where you should “just say no” and avoid temptation.)

CONFIDENTIAL TO PAULINE PHILLIPS IN MINNEAPOLIS: Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! With all my love … Jeanne, your firstborn.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)

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