, Advice by Ann Landers - []
Section: behavior, aging, manners

Dear Margo,
It really upsets me to see all of the memorials of flowers and candles left when someone dies, or there is a shooting, or a car accident. Why can't people donate to a worthy cause in their names, even if it's a small amount? An perfect example, if from years past: Princess Diana's death. There were TONS of flowers! This would have been lots of money donated in her name to her favorite charities. Just a thought. - Mary

Dear Mary,
I basically agree with you that a thoughtful - and useful - way to show regret about a death is to make a contribution, preferably to an organization that has something to do with the way the person died. On the other hand, I understand the instinct to participate in an immediate show of sympathy and grief. Flowers and candles are not that costly in the context of your concern. Such offerings also have the benefit of calling public attention to, say, an automobile tragedy where there was perhaps no traffic light,, and who knows the effect that might have on passersby? I hope you will stop being upset about this, if only because it is beyond your control and seems to be a hardwired response.
- Margo

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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good."
-Ann Landers