DEAR ABBY: I can certainly relate to that woman who had a falling out with her brother. She hadn't spoken to him for seven years, and when he died, she didn't go to his funeral. She said, "I'm no hypocrite."

Three years ago, I learned that my brother had stolen from our elderly parents. When I confronted him with the evidence, he asked me to lie to cover up for him. I refused. That's when he hit me in the temple with a full can of beer, beat me up, took all my cash and left.The day he did that to me, my love for him died. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother, and if he were to drop dead tomorrow, I wouldn't attend his funeral.

Abby, you said: "Funerals are for the living". The deceased will not know who was there, but the grieving family will. Perhaps if that woman had attended her brother's funeral and buried her grievances, it might have made her feel better."

I rarely disagree with you, but this time you were wrong. Some grievances can never be buried.--NO HYPOCRITE NO. 2

DEAR NO HYPOCRITE NO 2: I was clearly outnumbered on this one. Read on for a typical dissenter:

DEAR ABBY: Regarding your recent letter from the woman who didn't attend her brother's funeral because she wasn't a hypocrite, I think your answer was way off.

A funeral may well be for the living, but the living should apply first to the immediate family of the deceased, i.e. wife, husband, children--not brothers and sisters.

My father had a brother who ignored him in his later years despite repeated attempts by my father to initiate contact. This hurt my father deeply, but there was no falling out--they just never spoke. Then my uncle showed up at my father's funeral.

His presence upset my mother and me because we both knew how much one short visit from this brother would have meant to my father when he was alive.

You'll probably say that we shouldn't carry a grudge, and maybe my uncle was trying to make up for what he had failed to do before, but nothing could make up for the hurt he caused my father in his final years.

Bitter? You'd better believe I'm bitter--TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE.

DEAR ABBY: Speaking of hypocrites and funerals, when my wonderful mother died at 81, many of her friends came to her funeral. Did it give me pleasure to see such a turnout? No, it didn't.

Where were all these "friends" when my poor mother lay partially paralyzed in a nursing home for six years? Mother would have so enjoyed a visit from these so-called friends, but none of them came.

When I saw them "paying their last respects" at my mother's funeral, I wanted to say: "It's too late now. Where were you when she needed you?" -- PESHE'S DAUGHTER