CAN I ASK FOR MY FINANCIAL GIFT BACK FROM MY BROTHER’S WIDOW?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My brother passed away and I sent his widow money, thinking she would need a little help with funeral expenses and bills since he’s no longer in the picture. I’ve noticed she’s wearing new clothes and gets her hair dyed regularly and even had Botox and I think a facelift. I wish I had never given her the money. Can I ask for it back? I am still grieving and she is probably just trying to make herself look good to get a new man if she hasn’t already found one.

—Angry sister (United States)

DEAR A.S.:

I suggest you do not ask for the money back. It was a gift and you can’t put conditions on that gift. I understand that you are still grieving and getting that money back will not help your grief. Know that his widow is likely still grieving as well. She might not have spent your financial gift prudently but she might also just be trying to make herself feel better and trying to escape her own pain by shopping or making herself over after the trauma of losing her husband. Grief looks different on everyone.

Remember that, no matter what, you both loved your brother and she probably gave him a lot of joy by being in his life so thank her for that and think about positive things you can do for yourself that will make yourself feel better in a productive way.

Much love.

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