Imagine being 85 years old and having not spoken to any of your siblings in over 30 years due to a family rift. The only thing that would make this scenario even more unsettling and bitter would be having to contemplate whether or not you should attend your siblings’ funerals. This is the problem Charlie is addressing this week, sent to Dear Abby by a man who is having second thoughts about how he should handle his lifelong feud with his siblings and whether death will bring him and his family peace, or more hell. 🙅
Imagine finding out that your daughter-in-law, whom you have been helping financially along with your son (her husband) has been saying horrible things about your family on an online forum? Would you confront her? Would you tell your son? Would or SHOULD you forgive her? Is the mother-in-law meddlesome and out of line? This week’s problem, submitted to Dear Prudence, appears to be quite a tangled web, but Charlie thinks the problem is pretty simple to fix.
It’s a story old as time itself — the son has values and beliefs that directly clash with his father’s. He’s a leftist, progressive, liberal democrat. His father is (according to his description) a “right wing racist asshole.” They fight constantly, like drunken sailors in a bar.
Can this relationship be salvaged? Before you jump to the defense of the leftist son, take a listen at how Charlie breaks down the problem and solution (there’s enough blame to go around, and the solution, like the problem, is complicated).
What if you were raised in a devout, religious family and then suddenly realized you no longer believed in the existence of a god, but became despondent over the idea of not spending eternity with your family? Yes, this week’s problem (submitted to Ask Andrew WK at The Village Voice) is a head-scratcher and a bit confusing, but Charlie is up to the task of helping our agonizing atheist sort out his spirituality (or lack thereof), his family, and eternity. BAM!