I Would Have Rendered a Different Opinion from Abigail Van Buren

DEAR_ABBY_12880069-e1420416724734-700x502Sister on the Outs Demands Return of Son’s Ashes

Nov 17, 2015 – Letter 1 of 3

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Seven years ago my sister’s 19-year-old son was killed in a car accident. After the wake she gave me a heart necklace with some of his ashes. We no longer speak and haven’t for four years.

Well, did I get a shock today. I received an email from her asking for it back! She even had my stepmom repeat that message to me. I don’t believe she has the right to ask for the necklace. Does she? — BLUE IN TENNESSEE

DEAR BLUE: Because you are no longer speaking, I can understand why your sister might want her son’s ashes back. Be a lady; return the necklace to her via registered mail or have your stepmother give it to her. It’s regrettable that your relationship with your sister has sunk to this level. Because this was no ordinary gift, understand that if you refuse to return it, your relationship with your sister will be permanently fractured.

(Source:  http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/2015/11/17/1/sister-on-the-outs-demands-return)

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DEAR BLUE:  I disagree with Abby because she seems to think you should be your sister’s doormat.  Abby put the onus on you to be the “lady” while she gives your sister a free pass.  I agree with you, Blue.  Your sister does not have an ethical or legal right to ask for that gift back and you probably could prevail in court as a matter of property rights.

Learn to use the Internet to research.  Here is a link that explains your property rights in this matter.


Your research alone would have shown you that Abby simply relied on conventional liberal thinking that focuses on the alleged rights of a fictional “group” to steal your individual rights.  Human rights are individual and are granted to every person directly from God.  Other humans have a way of trying to alter your rights when you give them half a chance as the human ego has a tendency to want to control others rather than respect their individual rights.

We have to forgive Abby, though.  After all, she is only human.  She is not some all-knowing God.  That’s why it pays to check out anybody’s advice with additional research and opinions.  In the end result, the decision is yours, so make sure you’ve checked out all possibilities before finally making it.  Never let anyone else make your decisions for you.  That includes me as well as Abby.

Once your sister delivered the gift to you, it legally became your property.  She does not have a legal right to demand it back.  If being a “lady” means you must forfeit your rights, then for God’s sake, chuck being a “lady,” sweetheart.  You are much better off retaining your dignity and self respect

So my advice to you, Blue, is that you guessed right in the first place.  After your sister gave it to you as a gift, that necklace became your property to dispose of as you wish.  Your sister does not have a right to take that necklace back.  What she could use is some advice to grow up.

And don’t ever let anyone convince you that you need to be a doormat for anyone else.


Dorothy Kulik

Dear Jane is a fresh alternative to advice columns such as Dear Abby. Not sure about Abby’s opinion? Get a second opinion. Make up your own mind about what’s the best course of action.

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