The loss of a child has to be one of the most difficult tragedies a person can endure.
Moving on from such an emotional shock typically involves some initial chaos, some intention and mourning and lots of time.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit walked readers through what that can look like.
The Original Poster (OP), using the anonymous account name throwAway_99287, highlighted a key detail in the process with the post’s title.
“AITA for refusing to give my ex our late daughter’s quilt back?”
OP began with a brief history of the quilt.
“The quilt was one that my grandma made for my mom as a gift when she was pregnant with me.”
“She wanted to start the family tradition of having it passed down from one generation to the next so when my ex wife and I had our daughter, that was her favorite blanket.”
“She took it with her everywhere.”
OP then shared everything changed.
“We lost her too soon when she was barely two years old and life wasn’t the same. We weren’t the same.”
“We both fell into a deep depression and the only way I coped with was by drinking.”
“My ex decided she had enough of it 2 years after and filed for divorce.”
But then came a change of fortune.
“It took time after the divorce before [I decided] to finally get help.”
“The one who really pushed me into it was one of my best friends who is now my fiancée. We started our relationship a year after that and here we are 3 years later.”
“Currently engaged and we’re expecting our first boy in August.”
And yet, the quilt recently became relevant all over again.
“After all this time without contact my ex reached me about the quilt.”
“Some of my family are still in contact with her and so I know through them that she had decided to have a baby on her own (via donor sperm).”
“She has a 4 month old daughter and she’s asking for the quilt back. Because she wants her daughter to have something of her sister’s and she’s been wanting it for years since it was something our daughter treasured.”
“And it’s not that my ex doesn’t have things that belonged to my daughter, but she knows how attached my daughter was to this.”
But OP had his new family to think about.
“The thing is my fiancée and I would like for our son to have it for the same reasons and the fact that it was something from my side of the family.”
“My ex said it’s the least I can do after what happened between us then rebuilding my ‘perfect life with someone else’ while she has no one and raising her child on her own.”
“It’s been this constant back and forth.”
The whole thing has left OP’s head spinning.
“Now some of my family, mainly my sister and dad say I should just understand life has been hard on her so to just let her have this.”
“Everyone else says it’s a family item and neither she or the baby are part of it anymore.”
“So I’m sort of in the middle. I don’t want to give this up because it’s what I’d like my son to have.”
“Does that make me an a**hole given that I know life’s been hard for her?”
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 he was not being an a**hole.
They highlighted the source of the quilt in the first place.
“NTA. YOUR grandma made it and so it is in your family. I can see her wanting something for her daughter that reminds her of her sister but it is YOUR family heirloom.”
“And I don’t think it’s fair to throw in your face her anger that you have re-married and ‘moved on’. Is that not what she has done too?”
“What are you suppose to do, be single, and never have another child again? Just like it’s your choice to re-marry it was her choice to go on this journey of being a single mom.” — Boring_Pizza_624
“NTA – To her the quilt only contains the history of your daughter, but to you it also contains your own childhood history as well as that of your mother and grandmother.”
“I see why she wants it, but it’s your family heirloom and you are well within your rights to keep it.” — BeepBlipBlapBloop
“NTA. It is part of your family’s tradition. Not hers.” — Nay_nay267
“NTA. If it’s been passed down through the generations in your family it’s only right you keep it.” — ljoanne1991
Others criticized the argument things have been especially hard for OP’s ex.
“NTA your grandma made it, it should stay in your family. Your ex-wife is not your family anymore and the fact people are saying life has been hard for her is ridiculous.”
“Was it not hard for you too? You also lost a child and a marriage and struggled with addiction.”
“I don’t see why she should get more pity because she chose to have a child alone. Stop the back and forth with the ex, a simple no its a family heirloom is enough.” — apinkflamingo69
“Has life not been hard on you as well? Using that as a measuring stick isn’t going to balance out well. That honestly sounds like a classic case of emotional manipulation.”
“NAH. Your grandma made the quilt for your child. It is an heirloom from your side of the family, therefore imo you are the parent that has first rights to it.” — RedactR
“NTA, this is a family heirloom that has been passed down your side of the family, not hers. She has no entitlement to it and her guilt tripping is just AH behaviour.”
“She chose to become a single mother. Life has been hard on you too.” — Lunavixen15
If Reddit comments are any indication, it looks like the quilt is staying put where it is.