Grief can make people behave totally out of character. But some people’s behavior while dealing with loss can be so over the line they can’t be forgotten, even when graded on a grief-stricken curve.
A woman on Reddit found herself in this quandary after her mother-in-law tried to make amends for calling her a “bad mother” at her son’s funeral. She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled the situation, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Angle50976 on the site, asked:
“Aita for refusing to attend an apology dinner after my mother in law called me a bad mother at my son’s funeral?”
“I lost my son to congenital heart disease and he did not survive the open heart surgery at the age of 1 year and 6 months. He was the greatest blessing I had in my life. Everyone kept telling me things will get easier with time. I know that no matter how much time goes by I’ll still be missing my baby and everything sweet about him.”
“Mother in law and I were in constant conflict. Things always been bad between us but in those months we reached our limit. She kept getting involved in my son’s treatment., and criticized every decision I made claiming I didn’t know how to handle my son’s illness.”
“We went low contact but she kept causing issues occasionally. My husband was torn between our son’s illness and his mother’s issues.”
“When my son passed away she came to the funeral and caused a scene by arguing with me knowing I had no energy for it. She used the fact that everyone was there so she could say it was my fault my son was born sick and I didn’t take care of him properly, that I didn’t listen to her when suggested other ways to treat his condition. And That I was the one who took their grandchild away from them and caused them heartache.”
“She then loudly called me a bad mother I had no idea how I kept my composure and kept standing on both feet. My mom and sisters responded by telling her to leave. my husband was sitting down crying. She then went to tell everyone I kicked her out as a way to hurt her further and lied that I convinced my husband to ban her from visiting her grandson’s grave.”
“My husband later sent his side of family an email talking about my mother in law’s behavior during and after our son’s illness and telling them he no longer will be seeing her. That had the family criticizing us saying mother in law was just trying to do what was best for her grandbaby and called us selfish for assuming we’re the only ones struggling with this tragedy.”
“We haven’t seen his mom in 1 year and 8 months. I’m now 3 months pregnant. No one knew only my sister in law (brother in law’s wife) but word got out. Though we told her not to say anything.”
“Week later I had family members saying I was invited to a dinner hosted by mother in law so she could both apologize in front of the whole family and settle this issue before the baby’s born. They said mother in law was regretful, and offered to financially provide for her grandbaby and they want to see that.”
“I refused But My husband surprisingly wants me to go. I had his grandparents calling me telling me that I’m a person with a good heart and forgiveness’s something I’m capable of giving. I told them I’ll never be sitting at the same table with the person who called me a bad mother at my child’s funeral. I still remember it vividly til this very day.”
“My sisters said this change of heart from mother in law is probably for the new baby. It could be but I insisted I won’t come. They’re saying I’m making hard for everyone to move on and past this unreasolved pain and should really go.”
OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to judge who’s in the wrong in this conflict using the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And everyone was on the same page.
Not only was OP’s mother-in-law way out of line, but many Redditors were disturbed by her actions.
“NTA, i work in nursing in ICU and I see people like your MIL often.”
“You were done so dirty, and NO ONE, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE will ever understand what you and your husband went through and the kind of horrific choices you had to make. People like to think modern medicine can cure anything and it’s just not true.”
“Treatments can be ugly, invasive, and even lethal, and I would never blame you for a second for trying anything possible to keep your baby in this world. I also wouldn’t blame you for a second if you decided NOT to go through with some of these harsh treatments. There is no right answer in these situations, only you get to decide.”
“I’m so, so sorry for your loss and that you had to go through that. Maybe I’m biased because I see people like you at work making decisions no one should ever have to make while getting yelled at by other family who won’t even come to visit the fkn patient (easy to throw stones when you don’t have to make such heavy decisions)”
“You are so within your rights to never forgive that woman. I hope the best for your current pregnancy and I’m sure this little light will help remind you and your husband what familial love really is.” —GoblinDelRey
“I felt sick to my stomach reading this. The pure audacity of this woman is beyond words…” —MsMoonGoose
“From a fellow mom, I’ll first state that you are NTA. Not even close. The fact that you survived losing your child and survived the vitriol your MIL sent your way is a testament to how strong you are. I don’t think you ever need to let this woman into your life or your child’s life. What she said was unforgivable and outright wrong. What a disgusting piece of trash she is…” —prettyorganist
“I cried, reading this post. Like holy hell, I can’t even imagine going through what OP has gone through…” —veloxaraptor
“OP’s husband needs to grow a spine too. Like I get that it’s his mother & he’s probably still grieving the loss of their child as well, but OP’s his immediate family now. She & their unborn child should be his #1 priority, not his mother’s fantasy about being a grandma (especially after what she did & said)…” —ssnowangelz
Hopefully OP can find comfort in her new baby and begin to move forward.