Dear Abby: Because I didn’t want to watch TV with him, I missed my husband’s death

Reader lives with regret, wishing those final moments had been spent together with the screen off.

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DEAR ABBY: Please urge your readers to turn off their TVs and shut off their phones. My husband died while we were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. He was watching a TV program I didn’t care for, so I went in the other room to watch something else. I fell asleep, and when I went back into his room at the resort, he was dead.

I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for not staying and watching it with him. How I wish we had turned the TV off and just talked that night — talked about everything that had happened since we met, the things we did right and the things we did wrong. I wish we had stayed awake and talked until he took his last breath.

I can’t change what happened to me, but I know some of your readers can prevent it from happening to them. I miss my darling every day. Put those phones down! Turn your TVs off! Enjoy the love of your life while they are here with you. — JUST SAYING IN THE WEST

DEAR JUST SAYING: You did nothing to feel guilty for. Anyone who has lost a loved one has regrets; some more than others. What stands out most in your letter is its message to appreciate what we have while we still have it, because it applies to more than just widowhood. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss, and thank you for wanting to warn others.

DEAR ABBY: The other day I went to the pool in my neighborhood and found there were four lounge chairs with towels on them indicating they were “reserved.” They are the best chairs in the pool area because they are covered by a small roof and protected from the sun. I then had to use another chair that only partially covered me.

It wasn’t until three hours later, when I was about to leave, that a couple carrying party items showed up to claim the chairs. Would it have been OK to move the “reserved” chairs to another area and put mine under the roof, and then put them back when I leave? What if the people come and I’m still there? — ALL WET IN FLORIDA

DEAR ALL WET: What those neighbors did was rude. Yes, it would have been OK for you to sit in the shade, protected from the sun. If the entitled folks who tied up the chairs (for hours) came down to use them within 15 minutes, you could have moved. But under the circumstances, you should not have given up yours.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a dear friend who comes from out of town to visit a couple of times a year. We have known him for many years and enjoy his company. The problem is he has started wearing an excessive amount of cologne. It has reached the point where the scent is overwhelming. It gets into the upholstery, the mattress in the guest bedroom, etc.

It’s not that either of us is allergic, it’s just that he uses way too much, and the fragrance lingers on long after he departs. So how do we have a conversation with someone who has “good” hygiene? — MAKES NO SCENTS IN TEXAS

DEAR MAKES NO SCENTS: A diplomatic way would be to tell this friend that you or your wife has developed a “sensitivity” (do not use the word “allergy,” which would be a lie) to scents, so you would appreciate it if he refrains from using any during his visits.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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