Let's ask Dorothy Parker!
Here's what "Randi" wrote into Obit Mag's mortality-related advice column.
I can hardly stand to write this, I'm so embarrassed. My older sister died a year ago, more or less. It wasn't a big surprise. She had uncontrollable diabetes. Also, she was very overweight and weak, never exercised and didn't take care of herself the way she should have.
My problem is her husband. I've been crazy about him for a few years now. Obviously, while my sister was alive I never told him, my brother or anyone about my feelings. Now that she's dead, my feelings for him are getting a lot worse. Meaning they're getting stronger. He was very upset by my sister's death: They have a son who's 8. I was sad too, but obviously conflicted about many things.
Would it be bad for me to tell this man how I feel about him now? If I do, I know my mother will freak. She was abandoned by my father right after I was born, so she has a lot of thoughts on the subject of love and marriage, as you can imagine. Also, I'm not too sure how the rest of our extended families will react.
I don't know what to do, which is why I'm writing you.
Judy's advice is, as ever, very sensible. As she says, "I'm in a really bad position here since you haven't given me a clue about your brother-in-law — namely, whether or not he's ever shown any indication that he's interested in you. Which is a fairly important factor." She also suggests that, given how short a time the sister's been dead, she should hold off - from confessing to anyone.
Here is what various dead people had to say:
Dorothy Parker: Darling, to hell with them. But remember: "Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away." Or not. Fools lap up folly like Manhattans.
Joseph Smith: Why art you not his plural wife in the first place?
Dr. Atkins: Diet and exercise are overrated. At the end of the day, we're all here and some of us haven't eaten a piece of fruit in thirty-two years.
Lizzie Borden: 'Wasn't a big suprise?' I know that game.
Jane Austen: Thoughts of love and marriage, madam, do not wisdom make, and what is more, the disapprobation of one's family can upon occasion bestow an untold degree of felicity - and distance not easily breached by a few miles of good road.
Anais Nin: The heart does not know law, know marriage...anxiety is love's only enemy!
Oscar Wilde: I have little to declare, madam, but your tedium. There are few things less engaging than a "widower," save perhaps an Ulster widower.
Flannery O'Connor: If he wanted you, he'd have you. Men seldom don't have what they want.
Jack Kerouac: Fuck You.