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By CAROLINE SPOSTO

Dear Caroline,

My cousin died last week. He had a fishing pole I always loved. Is it appropriate for me to drop by his house and ask his widow for it?

…Sentimental in Sayulita

Dear Sentimental,

No. This is a sensitive time and it wouldn’t be appropriate. Not even close.

In the words of the late comedian Joan Rivers, “Some people don’t know the difference between a garage sale and a wake.” Don’t be one of those people.

The only place you have in your late cousin’s home at this time is to offer support and solidarity.

When you’re with the bereaved, don’t be afraid to reminisce about the loved one they lost. If you have photos they haven’t seen, or anything your cousin wrote or made, consider gifting it to them.

In due time, one of your conversations may naturally wind its way to the subject of fishing trips. If your dear cousin is smiling at you from heaven, and it was meant to be, you may end up with that rod and reel without having to ask. Please don’t dwell on it.

I’m sorry for your loss.

Here’s to finding comfort in your memories,

Caroline

Do you have a problem that’s been on your mind for a while? Send it to: questionforcaroline@gmail.com.

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