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DEAR ABBY: I am writing in response to the letter signed "Unfinished Business," from someone who had not seen his deceased friend for several years and was dismayed with the family's decision to have a closed-casket funeral. I can relate to this situation wholeheartedly from the family's point of view.

When my father died of cancer 10 years ago, he had requested a closed-casket funeral. What an uproar that created! Relatives and so-called friends who had not seen Dad in years were appalled. They said, "This is not customary! We wanted one last look at him." My response was, "Dad wanted you to remember him as robust and healthy like he was before he became ill."We found a picture of Dad taken when he was hale and hearty, and placed it on his closed casket, surrounded by flowers. - HIS DAUGHTER IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR DAUGHTER: Many others wrote objecting to the closed-casket funeral. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I agree with "Unfinished Business" about closed-casket wakes. Recently I drove 60 miles one way to pay my respects to a friend who had died of a heart attack, only to find a closed casket. I was not very well acquainted with the widow, so I could have just as well paid my respects by sending her a sympathy card.

My point in writing is to suggest to families who feel that way that the words "Casket will be closed" be added to the obituary in the newspaper. It may not be considered proper etiquette, but it will save a lot of hard feelings. - FINISHED BUSINESS IN BRYAN, OHIO

DEAR ABBY: I recall one funeral I attended a few years ago. It was for a loyal, longtime employee who had lingered with a terminal illness for a very long time. When his widow was asked why she wanted a closed-casket funeral, she replied, "Nobody came to see him when he was alive, so why would anyone want to see him when he is dead?" - PINE BLUFF, ARK.

DEAR ABBY: You had a letter in your column about a girl whose friend was nearly hit by a car because she was jogging with a headset on and couldn't hear the car coming.

My twin sister, Jackie Poole Roach, wasn't that lucky. She was killed in January 1988. She was jogging with a headset on while listening to the Super Bowl. She was struck by a car driven by a 21-year-old man who left the scene of the accident. She lived four hours after she was found. I pray she never knew what hit her.

She left a husband, son and daughter, as well as 800 students, teachers, family and friends who filled the United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Ohio, the day of her funeral. - JILL POOLE, ZANESVILLE, OHIO

DEAR JILL: My profound sympathy at the loss of your beloved twin. It would be a generosity if everyone who saw a jogger wearing a headset in traffic would stop that jogger and warn him or her of the inherent danger of that risky practice.

CHUCKLE (OR GROAN) FOR TODAY: "God invented football so grown men would have something to do between wars." - Dan Jenkins

1991 Universal Press Syndicate