People mourn in their own ways. And often, they have little control over their emotions while in that grieving state.
And so they usually receive patience from their friends and family.
But what happens when someone’s mournful tendencies begin to directly impact their loved ones?
One Redditor found herself forced to determine when a family member’s grieved behavior crossed a line. She posted about it all on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Fluid_Community_4422 on the site, came right out with specifics in her title for the post.
“AITA for Telling my Sister to Stop Bringing up her Dead Baby?”
OP began by providing some context.
“So my [36-year-old female] sister [33-year-old female, Julie] had a baby die of SIDS 6 years ago. I tried to support her in all the ways I could.”
“She’s now in a support group with other moms who have lost babies and is getting better and thinking about possibly having or adopting another kid.”
But a new development brought things to the surface.
“My other sister [26-year-old female, Ashley] just had her first baby 3 months ago. All throughout her pregnancy and now while her baby is alive Julie keeps bringing up that the baby could die of SIDS.
“Like she’ll say things like ‘Don’t get too attached, you never know.’ “
“I had my first kid before everything that happened to Julie and I still had a fear of SIDS or that something may go wrong in general. But Ashley is really getting freaked out.”
That stress reached a new level recently.
“My family is ‘Podding’ together so Julie and I were at Ashley’s house yesterday trying to help out with the baby.”
“Julie kept freaking her out and mentioning SIDS to the point where Ashley started crying and saying ‘I really just want her to be ok’ (In reference to her baby)”
So OP tried to intervene.
“I took her in the other room and tried to calm her down by saying the baby wasn’t going to die but Julie kept yelling in from the other room ‘You never know.’ “
“I was really annoyed and when we went upstairs I asked her if maybe she could discuss this with a therapist or her support or even her husband.”
“She just kept saying ‘I don’t want to give Ashley false hope’ and things like that. I asked if she could please stop bringing up the idea of her baby dying in front on Ashley.”
But OP’s attempt at diplomacy left her needing some internet guidance.
“She got very annoyed and left suddenly. She hasn’t said anything to me or anyone else since yesterday.”
“I understand that this is probably triggering for her but it’s not Ashleys job to deal with that especially when she has a newborn and I don’t know how to help her so I feel like suggesting she talk to people who do know how to help her isn’t that bad but I do kinda feel like an AH for telling her to stop bringing it up.”
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 agreed with OP completely. In fact, they praised her conduct.
“You, OP, have the patient of a Saint, or a giant rock idk.”
“I would have blown up in her face like the volcano with the nice name in Iceland. Your sister needs professional grief counseling…and to stop terrorizing the family.”
“Protect your younger sister and her kid by keeping the other sister away until she gets up.” — Silvalirum
“NTA, you stepped in to protect your younger sister that is scared and overwhelmed.” — Delicious_Lobster468
“NTA I understand it was painful for her but shes now scaring her sister which is Purley becoming cruel.”
“Thank you for standing up for your sister, the constant stress of worrying about the baby dying won’t help her post partum and won’t help with postpartum depression should she have or develop it.” — Conscious-Cress4285
Others chose to go after Julie.
“NTA Of course the baby could get SIDS. The baby could also get the flu and die. Or she could be in a car accident.”
“That doesn’t mean you talk about it all the time. My guess is your older sister is struggling with jealousy. It’s not fair this new baby is here and giving her mother joy. And she’s trying to hide her jealousy by ‘warning’ your younger sister…but really she’s just projecting her anger.”
“She needs to stop. It’s not fair to anyone. It is so awful your sister lost her baby. It’s not fair and I cannot imagine her pain. But that doesn’t make it okay to constantly bring everyone else down.” — Prior_Lobster_5240
“So much NTA Julie should not be around Ashley right now!”
“Giving advice to help prevent SIDS is one thing, but what she’s doing right now is basically trying to harass Ashley into believing that her daughter is inevitably going to die, while Ashley is already dealing with PP hormones.”
“This is abuse. It needs to stop now! No matter what anyone says to you about this, get Julie out of that house!!” — ThinkingRose
“NTA – She’s clearly still grieving- but putting this idea in Ashley’s head that she ‘shouldn’t get too attached because the baby could die’ is disturbing.” — ghostcraft33
Others did call out Julie out, but came from a slightly more sympathetic place.
“Poor Julie has suffered an absolutely heartbreaking loss that no one should have to suffer but you’re NTA. She shouldn’t be distressing Ashley by saying things like ‘don’t get too attached.’ SIDS is terrifying, and as the parent of a 4 month old, I worry about it every day. Thankfully it is actually pretty rare; about 230 babies die in the UK of SIDS per year.”
“Maybe it would help Ashely to read about the things she can do to help prevent it (putting baby to sleep on their back, feet at the foot of the cot etc.).”
“I do hope Julie manages to get the help she needs. She has suffered an appalling loss and my heart does go out to her, despite it all.” — LikeEveryoneSheKnows
“NTA Had a friend lose a baby to SIDS. We had her the night before and it was devastating to realize the baby was there one day and she wasn’t the next. It wasn’t even our child, yet we felt so guilty like we did something to cause it.”
“Julie clearly needs to work through her junk but I would not let her around any newborns anytime soon. She is obviously not ready.” — Thediciplematt
“Sounds like poor Julie still needs more work done in therapy.” — Shane_Diggity
So while OP may still struggle to decide exactly how to help create a more safe and healthy dynamic between her sisters, at least she can be confident that her gut response was one shared by so many others.