What is the ideal amount of buffer time between hearing the news of someone’s personal tragedy and announcing one’s own good, hopeful news?
That was the decision one Redditor was recently forced to make. She posted about her experience in the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as 123SpongeRick on the site, made the subject matter clear with her title for the post.
“AITA for announcing my pregnancy 6 months after my niece’s passing?”
OP led with the emotional backstory.
“My sister (Aileen, 30-year-old female) lost her only child (5-year-old female) February of this year.”
“Her death was tragic and Aileen and BIL are still seeking justice for their daughter’s death.”
“It has taken a huge toll on my sister’s health so I didn’t inform my family when I found out I was pregnant 2 months ago.”
But the world didn’t stop.
“Last week was my mom’s birthday and the whole family noticed my growing belly.”
While my aunt gave her birthday wishes for mom she told everyone that I have something amazing to announce.”
“I got the mic and informed everyone that my husband and I are expecting our first children (we’re having twins).”
“Everyone in the party congratulated us and mom said it was the best birthday present.”
But the news was tough for some to hear.
“After the party, my BIL called me and said I hurt my sister after I my announcement.”
“He said it was insensitive of me and that I owe my sister an apology.”
“I went to my Aileen’s home right away but she refused to see me.”
“AITA? I really felt sorry for causing pain to my grieving sister.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP she hadn’t been an a**hole. In fact, many said there was no a**hole to be found in the whole incident.
“NAH. It probably would have been more considerate to tell her first in private, but it sounds like your aunt put you on the spot.” — Fickle-Willow4836
“NAH You’re entitled to announce your pregnancy any way you want, but I personally would have given her a private heads up so that she would have time to process and adjust.” — ScubaCC
“NAH but given you know your sister is seriously suffering, surprising them with a big announcement in a public place probably wasn’t the kindest thing to do.”
“Clearly she was going to have to find out eventually, but you could have given them a heads up so they had space to process” — LightningLilac
“NAH. Congrats on the baby.”
“That being said, I do think your sister is still grieving, and your pregnancy has only reminded her of what she has lost.”
“Give her time and space. I’m sure once she has had time to process everything, she will be delighted for you.” — Novel-Problem
“NAH. You should have told your sister about the pregnancy in private first, but it doesn’t seem like this was a planned announcement. You got caught up in the moment, it wasn’t malicious.”
“Sister is grieving a terrible and recent loss. She did not make a scene, just informed you she was very hurt via BIL. She is not an a**hole; give her time and apologize for not breaking it to her gently first.” — starchy2ber
Others delivered their support with a bit more criticism laced in. They couldn’t imagine any other way.
“NTA. How long were you supposed to wait to announce? After the baby is born?”
“I am so sorry for the loss of that child. That is so tragic. However, you did nothing wrong. I think it would not have mattered when you made the announcement. It would still have caused your sister pain.”
“If she won’t see you, don’t press the matter. I think a heart felt hand written letter would be appropriate.” — patjames904
“NTA. Your stomach was growing. It was becoming obvious that you were pregnant. What were you supposed to do? Pretend that you weren’t for the rest of your pregnancy? Pretend that you didn’t have a baby when the baby came?”
“You really didn’t have a choice here except to tell your family about your pregnancy.” — AdelleDeWitt
“NTA. Its unfortunate that your sister lost her daughter but you were being considerate and waited to announce it. You’re allowed to share good news and I’m glad your family was happy for you.” — SnooPickles7308
“NTA. You are allowed to have your own joy even though they’re grieving. You didn’t set up the announcement your aunt did.”
“It would have been nice to give your sister a heads up so she wouldn’t have been caught off guard, it’s not fair to you, but I’m sure anything kid related is sensitive for her right now.” — ollyator
And some highlighted what they felt was the most influential factor in the whole ordeal.
“NAH, except maybe your aunt. It sounds like you got put on the spot and basically couldn’t say anything else. It wasn’t nice of your aunt to do this to you or your sister.”
“Grief is complex, and at this point it’s probably best to send your sister a message explaining the situation and apologizing and then giving her some space for awhile.”
“did your aunt tell you she would call you up beforehand or did she just do it?” — moongirl12
“I would say NAH, except maybe very slightly your aunt, for bringing it up. People may have noticed, but for sensitivity sake, it might have been better to give you time to quietly tell your sister and brother in law in private.”
“It sounds mostly like people wanted to celebrate your happiness with you.” — Somethingisshadysir
“NAH. I get that your sister is grieving the loss of her daughter, but it’s not like you intentionally upstaged her, you were as careful as you could be to avoid hurting your sister’s feelings, your family was starting to notice your belly, and it’s not reasonable to expect you to just sit on that news forever.”
“If anyone’s TA, maybe it’s your aunt for putting you on the spot, but I doubt even her intents were malicious.” — Kegelexercise
Here’s hoping both OP and her sister can find a compromise that helps them give emotion to both the tragic and the hopeful in their recent days.