Wedding Woes

Dead famous dad conundrum

Dear Prudence,
A few years ago, my father, who was a public official, was killed in a mass shooting in our hometown. Now my wife and I have moved back home after a decade of living elsewhere. I’m happy to be back, but several times a week, I meet someone who hears my unusual last name and wonders aloud, “Now why do I know that name?” And they’ll often spend several minutes comparing high schools and relatives to try to figure it out. On my end I’m comfortable talking about my dad, and it’s great to occasionally run into people who knew him. I also don’t like the dishonest feeling of hiding the obvious answer. On the other hand, it’s quite a bomb to throw into a handshake conversation at the PTA. What’s the etiquette for an encounter like this?

—A Death in the Family

Re: Dead famous dad conundrum

  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Just say who your dad was, you don't have to talk about how he died. I don't see how he died and that he was famous being any different than if your dad was just dead and normal.
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