Dear Abby: Thirty years ago, a friend of my husband’s roommate passed away of AIDS and was cremated. His family had ostracized him. I have no idea who they are or where they are. The roommate left and later died, also from AIDS. He left his friend’s ashes in his old room in my husband’s house in the San Francisco Bay area with instructions to scatter them in Hawaii.

The ashes have been sitting reverently in a cardboard box on a shelf in our several homes for all these 30 years. We are still together, but getting old. There is no paperwork of any kind. All we know about the deceased is his name and the fact that he was a friend.

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