DEAR ABBY: My father-in-law died two weeks ago. The services were beautiful. Many people sent flowers, but one arrangement — a bouquet of white flowers — arrived anonymously. I didn’t think much about it, just that someone wanted to express sympathy. Now my mother-in-law has become frantic with concern about the flowers. She sobs over not knowing who sent them and — we think — suspects they came from an old or not-so-old flame.
Is sending flowers this way unusual? Or are there good reasons to do it? Is my mother-in-law’s reaction normal? — GRIEVING IN GEORGETOWN, TEXAS
DEAR GRIEVING: Your mother-in-law is grieving. She is fragile right now, and possibly not thinking straight. A card may have been sent with the bouquet that was somehow lost in transit.
That she was married to her husband for 50 years and now suspects he was unfaithful because of a bouquet of flowers at the man’s funeral is a sad reflection on their marriage. She should discuss this with her spiritual adviser, if she has one, or a grief therapist.
DEAR ABBY: I am in my early 30s and have been married for five years. My husband and I decided to have a baby, and five months ago I found out I was pregnant. When I told my mom the great news, she wasn’t happy to hear it. She doesn’t care. All she cares about is how “fat” I’m going to get.
It hurts me so much that she treats me and her future grandchild this way. — ALMOST IN TEARS IN OHIO
DEAR ALMOST IN TEARS: Stop depending so much on your mother’s approval and you’ll have a happier pregnancy. The person you should talk to about your weight is your OB/GYN. If your weight is such that it might affect your health or your baby’s, you need to know it ASAP. Your doctor can refer you to a nutritionist if you need guidance about your diet.
Your relationship with your mother doesn’t appear to be particularly positive. Talk more with your girlfriends, talk more to your husband and less to your mother.