A parent should never have to bury their child.
But when a parent does have to go through this nightmare, they’re bound to be met with a variety of opinions about how to move on after their child is gone, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After a long battle with cancer, Redditor candybar2233 was in the process of planning a funeral for his teenage daughter, who passed right before her birthday.
When his family started to talk about her birthday presents instead of her funeral, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked and disgusted by their priorities.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to ‘keep gifts in the family’ that were presents for my daughter?”
The OP very recently lost his daughter to cancer.
“I (41 Male) am a single dad to my daughter (14). Her mom couldn’t care less about our daughter, so it’s always been my daughter and me.”
“Almost two years ago, my daughter got diagnosed with cancer. At first, it was Leukima, but it eventually spread to her brain. Watching her go through this made me realize how strong and tough my girl is.”
“On the 9th of June, my daughter unexpectedly got admitted to the hospital. Her birthday was the next day and she told me she wanted to wait until she got home to open presents and celebrate her birthday.”
“So she and I ended up eating cake and watching movies in her hospital room for her bday. After that, her health declined pretty rapidly.”
“A week later (the 17th), she passed away.”
The OP wasn’t ready to move his daughter’s birthday presents.
“I had all her presents ready in the recliner she always sits in for when she came home.”
“Well, that never happened, so they have been just sitting there. I got her an iPad as well as a few small things.”
“The family had also brought over gifts for her, mostly simple things they knew she would like, like clothes, blankets, water bottles, etc.”
The OP’s family had other plans for the gifts.
“This morning, my mom, dad, and sister came over to my house for the first time since she passed. We were going to make a picture board and slide show for her funeral.”
“After we started working on both, my sister noticed the presents and asked if my daughter ever opened them.”
“I explained she wanted to wait until she got home to celebrate and open presents. I admitted I haven’t felt right moving them yet.”
“My sister and mom turned around and said we should just give them to my sister’s twin daughters, who are turning 13 in about two weeks.”
“I said I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing my nieces our using gifts meant for my daughter. And if I were to do anything with the gifts, I would donate the ones I can to the children’s hospital.”
“My mom and sister argued that it’s right to keep the gifts in the family rather than going to complete strangers, and I’m just being a selfish AH.”
The OP was shocked by their criticism.
“I plan on finding some kind of therapy or grief counseling soon just to help, hopefully… The people at the hospital told me to contact them if I need help finding a therapist… I just wanted to get through my daughter’s funeral before I start getting into that process.”
“But I couldn’t believe they said that, honestly… it’s only been four days since my daughter passed away.”
The OP was left to wonder,
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that he had every right to do whatever he wanted with the gifts.
“NTA. OP, I am so sorry for your loss.”
“You are allowed to grieve in whichever way you want, and the second you said you weren’t comfortable with it, they should have listened to you. I, a stranger on the internet, can completely understand the feeling and pain you may experience seeing your nieces play with things that were your daughters but that she never got the chance even to open.”
“Your family is being incredibly selfish, putting any kind of demand on her belongings within four days of her passing. I am biting my tongue and holding back language, but just know that a lot worse things could be said about them justly.” – Impressive_Rock_8967
“OP, I am so sorry for your loss. This random stranger on the internet is in tears, both sad and angry.”
“Yeah, this needs to get out. I’m appalled they’re even calling you out like that. Donate all of it except whatever you may want to keep for sentimental value. Put it under your daughter’s name.”
“Not sure how you can even look at them during the funeral. NTA.” – tango421
“NTA. How on earth was that their first response?! Why had their thought gone to monetary value?”
“My Dad passed away less than two years ago, and we still have his shoes by the back door. We have only just started donating his clothes to Hospice charities.”
“I am so so sorry for your loss. You deserve to grieve in peace and without judgment.” – echofalls99
“As someone who just lost their 18-year-old nephew after five years battling cancer. His goal was to graduate high school, and he died just a month away. I feel a deep anger at your mom and sister.”
“My brother and sister-in-law are destroyed losing their son. I could NEVER dream of making such a rude, self-entitled demand.”
“As someone in your sister’s shoes, she’s 100% wrong, and she should be ashamed of herself for trying to snatch up ‘free gifts.'”
“NTA, and d**n, OP, I’m so sorry.” – no_rxn
“My ex was claiming his mom’s stuff before she even died… well. Kinda. He just wanted her tv and movies. That’s it.”
“She was on her death bed, and he’d get upset whenever we had to talk about the ‘next step’ (turning off her oxygen) but had no issue saying he deserved her tv right over her laying body.”
“Eventually, I said whatever, f**k it… but I’m getting ALL of her photos. Day after she passed, sure enough, he sent one of his goons to grab his tv while I, a nobody in that family, was left to deal with everything else.”
“But I got her photos, and when I have more time, I plan on figuring them out, getting them on some type of hard drive, and making copies for all the grandkids who want them. My ex can eat s**t out of an a** for all I care.”
“Sometimes people really suck. OP, you’re NTA, and I hope whatever you decide to do with them, you wait until you’re ready.” – CiCi_Run
Others agreed and thought the OP’s family was being incredibly insensitive.
“You haven’t even buried your daughter yet, and they want to divvy up her unopened birthday loot? Nah. Fam can stuff it. You are NTA at all.” – Magus_Corgo
“I had to read your post a few times because I thought surely I had missed where you said it had been several months or years since your daughter passed.”
“Don’t get me wrong, you would still be NTA, but I could maybe see where they were coming from. But FOUR DAYS LATER and all they can think about is your daughter’s belongings? That is abominable.”
“Take care of yourself, and don’t even think about this stuff right now.” – sundaesmilemily
“I don’t want to call what should be your support system a**holes during an incredibly tragic time, but my god, what a**holes.”
“A very good friend of mine just recently lost her daughter, and while nothing will ever make any of it make sense, what has helped her and her family is giving back to the people that were there for them. The cancer facility and the amazingly incredible people that dedicate their lives to helping children and their families go through this.”
“When you’re ready, if you ever are (please know it’s okay if you never are), do exactly what you planned and donate those gifts to the Children’s Hospital. I am so sorry for your loss and that you have people making you second guess donating gifts to a children’s hospital. Resounding NAH.” – Street-Elderberry-70
“OP, please tell them:”
“‘Let me make myself perfectly clear. You are not going to make me feel bad about how I choose to grieve my daughter’s death. If donating these things in her honor helps me, then that is what I am going to do. The fact that you would attempt to make me feel bad right now… like I would be a bad person for donating these things instead of gifting them to your daughters who are still on this earth with you, while mine is gone forever, disgusts me.'”
“‘I can honestly say I have never been more disappointed in any human being than I am right now in the two of you. And frankly, I don’t want to see or hear from either of you for a while. You both need to get the hell away from me before I say something I can never take back.'”
“NTA.” – The__Riker__Maneuver
“I’m genuinely appalled at the sheer selfishness and insensitivity of OP’s family. HE JUST LOST HIS KID, and they are demanding the presents that were for what would have been her last birthday? Like, I don’t have words for how absolutely vile these people are.”
“I think if this doesn’t smack sense into them, OP should block them after the funeral, at least temporarily.”
“Finally, I’m so, so sorry for your loss, OP. If you believe in God, I hope he helps you through this. NTA x infinity.” – Jedisilk015
“OP I am so, so sorry for your loss.”
“The concept your mom and sister need to understand is called Circles of Grief. Support is supposed to flow inwards. It doesn’t often work perfectly, but it’s a great framework to understand how you can all stick together.”
“As the closest person to your daughter, you are in the center of the circle. You can vent about your grief to anyone. You can ask anyone to support you.”
“Your mom and sister might even be the very next circle after that. Then let’s say you have some pretty close family friends who would be the next circle. Your mom and sister can lean on/vent to the family friends (and so can you). Their support needs to be flowing into you, and they should get support where they can to make that possible.”
“According to Circles, you get to decide what to do with your daughter’s birthday presents, and if you want to, you can ask someone else to drop them at the hospital. When people ask if there’s anything they can do, they mean it.”
“NAH. It’s just a desperately sad situation. I think the mom and sister just don’t feel ready to let go of anything they had thought about in relation to the daughter. Like subconsciously, they’re thinking what if she un-dies and wants it? It’s normal and fine, but doesn’t supersede what her actual dad wants.” – Hot-Bonus-7958
The subReddit could not be more appalled by how the OP’s family was treating him and his daughter’s memory, not just days after her death but before her funeral had even occurred.
Though it might be nice to keep the gifts and that aspect of the OP’s daughter’s memory in the family, it was up to the OP to do what he was the most comfortable with regarding his daughter’s possessions, and either way, whether it was the children’s hospital or his family, he was helping people.