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Dear Abby: What do you do when a former spouse dies? Do you go to the funeral, stay home, send flowers - or what? This can be a dilemma when you have had children with the former spouse and all live in the same town.

My friend "Anita's" former husband was given four months to live. He informed his children that he did not want to see their mother during the time of his illness. Anita wants to attend the funeral to support her two sons, both over 40. What should she do?Another example: My husband's former wife, "Faye," is terminally ill. "Pat" and Faye had a 10-year marriage, three children and a bitter divorce. He has a good relationship with the children. Pat and Faye have a nodding relationship. Pat thinks he should attend Faye's funeral out of respect for his children.

I'm not too crazy about the idea and need some advice. Should I go to the funeral with him, or should I stay home? Should he go with his children? Should we both stay home, and send a card? How can this be handled with good taste, so no one is offended? Please don't reveal my name or location.

- Faithful Reader

Dear Faithful Reader: The wishes of the immediate family should be respected. The surviving parent should ask the children if his (or her) presence would be comforting or disruptive, and act accordingly.

Whether you attend the funeral or not, you should send flowers, a card or a note of sympathy.

Dear Abby: I am responding to the letter from Earl Reinke, Seoul, Korea, who said that a young, unmarried woman who had chosen to keep and raise her child in a "fatherless home" had made a selfish choice. He said that the girl had "done at least two things most `good Christians' would consider wrong: She bore an illegitimate child, then failed to put it up for adoption."

Well, Abby, I am a good Christian. I have four wonderful grown children, but the best is our new grandson. Our son and his girlfriend (both in their 20s) aren't married. And when they first announced she was pregnant we weren't elated, but we accepted the situation.

Your answer was terrific: "There are no illegitimate children - all children are `legitimate' in God's eyes." I could never say the word "illegitimate" or even consider it. I see only a beautiful, healthy, bright child who, with his parents' and God's help, will be an asset to this world.

Another word I've never used regarding children was "stepchild." My two oldest children came with their father - the best package deal I've ever received. And when we were blessed with two more, they were only brother and sisters - with no "step" in front of any reference.

Keep up the good work. We're not here to judge; God handles that! You may print this letter, but please withhold my name.

- Wisconsin Grandma

Dear Grandma: Your letter was an upper. The world would be far less complicated if more people thought as you do. I admire your attitude and agree with your philosophy.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)