The loss of someone we love is one of those traumas that never really stops hurting.
We miss them forever and find little ways to remember them in the lives we build for ourselves after they pass.
What happens though when the loss felt by someone else makes you uncomfortable?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Elijah2022xx when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA ) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my brother’s girlfriend that it was weird for her to keep an urn of her late husband’s ashes in the house?”
OP began with the setup.
“Okay, So this happened last night while me (Male 23) and my family were visiting my brother’s (M30) girlfriend’s (Female 30) house for the first time.”
“We were all sitting at dinner table and I remembered when my brother’s girlfriend, who’s a widow, saying that she keeps an urn of her late husband’s ashes in the house.”
He quickly got to the problem itself.
“Conversation let from one thing to another then, I looked at my brother and asked him quietly if he was comfortable with having his girlfriend’s late husband’s urn in the house.”
“He gave me a long stare so I figured the answer was yes but maybe, he couldn’t tell his girlfriend about it fearing she’d misunderstand maybe?”
Everything was okay until,
“So I brought it up with her and told her it was quite weird to have her late husband’s urn in the house. She looked at me and was apparently caught off guard by what I said.”
“She said that she didn’t think so and that it wasn’t like the urn was on display, also said this is her late husband’s house and where the urn should be.”
“I told her it felt weird especially, since she just had my brother move in with her and he must be feeling uncomfortable with the idea, his girlfriend looked upset and got quiet.”
“My brother shouted ‘none of your g*dd*mned business, shut your mouth Elijah, jeezus!’ “
“I responded with ‘I mean..personally I wouldn’t be cool with my girl keeping an urn of her ex within close approximate, at best it’d make me feel uncomfortable, at worst it’d make me feel creeped out’.”
“His girlfriend then replyed by saying that I have no business dating a widow then and I shrugged.”
“She excused herself to the kitchen and stayed there, my brother went off on me calling me an obnoxious a**hole for making dinner awkward and upsetting his girlfriend.”
“I told him I was just giving my opinion but he lashed out more.”
OP was left to wonder.
“My parents and I left and they told me my brother’s girlfriend was being hypersensitive, but I too went too far and upset my brother and probably sparked an argument between them and I should reach to apologize but I’m not sure.”
Having laid out the issue, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some gave a helpful checklist.
“News flash, dude. You are not always entitled to your opinion.”
“This is none of your business whatsoever. Think about this whenever you open your mouth to speak…”
“Is what you’re about to say helpful?”
“Is what you’re about to say necessary?”
“Is what you’re about to say kind?”
“If the answer to all or even two of these is “no” then keep your mouth shut.”
“This incident? The answer to all three is a definite ‘no’.”
“EDIT for clarification.” ~ Fit-Bear
“One more for your list…”
“4. Is what you are about to say something you know absolutely nothing about?”
“Losing a partner, parent or child before their time (or at all) is one of the worst experiences you can ever have in life.”
“Grieving never ends and how a person deals with it is not up to anyone’s judgment. Period.”
“Also, she was not being hypersensitive, OP was being blindly, righteously insensitive.”
“YTA and so are your parents for entertaining what you said in any capacity.” ~ denofdames
Others pointed out the relationships involved here.
“Can we also point out that these are not the ashes of her ‘ex’ as op kept saying.”
“She is a widow, that loss will stay with her forever. The urn is in the house; OP confirmed it isn’t ‘on display’ as a shrine to her late husband.” ~ pottymouthpup
“You should feel guilty.”
“It wasn’t her ex, it’s her late HUSBAND.”
“And how was this any of your business? What did you think you would accomplish? You sound extremely immature and rude.”
“YTA.” ~ Typical-Garlic-7308
“YTA for referring to the husband as an ‘ex’ as well as for being rude and insulting.”
“Just because he is dead does not make him an ex.”
“He is still a treasured part of her life.”
“Let me put it to you this way; if your mother died when you were a child and a lovely person who you love just as much adopted you, would your mum be your ‘ex mum’?”
“Would you want to get rid of everything to do with your mum now that you love your adoptive parent?”
“Or would you expect your adoptive parent to let you love both your deceased and them?”
“It is the same.”
“You only find it weird because A) you have a childish idea of ashes being ‘creepy’ and…”
“B) I suspect you think your brother should feel weird because he’s competing with the deceased husband when in reality there is no competition.”
“Grow up.” ~ potatos-of-the-night
There were even personal anecdotes to give context.
“My mother (who is a narcissistic alcoholic nut job) married a widower whose wife (Jane) of 25 years died of cancer about five years prior.”
“When she moved into his home and found his wife’s urn in the basement she lost her ever-loving mind that she would not share her home with Jane and needed her gone NOW.”
“So rather than giving the urn to Janes’s adult children (who my mother already made her new husband cut all contact with for them expressing concern about how quickly they married after meeting).”
“She marched him down to a retention pond in their neighborhood to dump his wife out.”
“Then called me to brag about it.”
“The only people who get jealous of ashes are sick in the head and they should be avoided at all costs IMO.” ~ Hamilspud
Some were just confused by OP’s behavior.
“YTA how dense could you get?”
“You are a GUEST at her house for the FIRST time.”
“You are NOT a part of your brother and his gf’s relationship.”
“Your brother’s gf did not ask for your opinion on what she should do with her late husband’s ashes nor how she should live any part of her life”
“Your brother is old enough to talk to his gf about his feelings about this (if he had any) without your meddling”
“In short: Apologize and start minding your own business” ~ mindtrapeze
“YTA, seriously read the room…..”
“Also why did you feel the need to meddle in your bros relationship, and then double down repeatedly” ~ Plastic-Archer4245
Some felt OP suffered from deeper issues.
“YTA… and obviously VERY insecure.”
“If you feel you would be threatened by a jar of ashes, you have problems you need work on.”
“Apologize to your brother and his girlfriend and leave them alone.” ~ Teletubbyjr
The consensus seemed to be that OP overstepped.
“It’s really none of your business.”
“It’s her house, her late husband and about her relationship.”
“I don’t why you kept going at it – even though your brother didn’t respond to you the first time you asked.”
“Clear sign of ‘this question doesn’t deserve a response.’ Or ‘let’s not talk about it’. Even then, he later told you stfu but you kept going.”
“You’re the one that creeps me.”
“By not understanding your place or keep pushing people, even when they’re upset and uncomfortable.” ~ disindiantho
“What is she going to do, cheat on him with her ex’s ashes? I don’t understand your logic.”
“Her husband died. Where else do you expect the ashes to go?
“It’s a nice memory for her and reminder and if your brother is a standup dude he will understand that.” ~ lm0921
OP did return with some final thoughts.
“Please, One thing you should know is that I had no intentions of being hurtful.”
“I do not hate my brother’s girlfriend, in fact, we get along pretty well but I just wanted to add that I had no malicious intent here.”
“I’m not the type of guy who goes out of their way to act maliciously but I feel kind of guilty for how the situation played out.”
“My parents are the ones who said she was being hypersensitive, not me.”
“Yes, I overheard my brother venting about the urn when he first moved in just so you know.”
The loss of someone we love is one of those traumas that never really stops hurting.
We can never really understand what someone else is going through but we can be kind.
Always remember to be kind.