When tragedy strikes, we grieve in different ways and at different paces.
So what happens when one person’s response to the death of a loved one threatens to another person’s approach altogether.
As a recent post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated, that can leave both parties feeling short changed.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Aita469765 on the site, touched on the force behind the clash right in the post’s title.
“AITA for refusing to open my son’s room for my daughter?”
OP began by sharing the tragedy.
“My son passed away 7 months ago in a motorcycle accident at the age of 20. It was so devastating and our entire family is going through so much pain right now.”
“We have supportive people around us but it’s still very raw and we’re doing all we can to keep strong and functional.”
“His room is still the same, I only go in there for few minutes then walk out.”
But life does keep going on.
“We have a daughter aged 22 who’s in college and recently she’s been calling to tell us she has been planning on moving back in with us.”
“She stated that she can no longer afford rent and wanted to spend time with us til her brother’s first anniversary.”
“We told her she was welcome to move in anytime however, she hinted that she wanted to take her brother’s room instead of hers.
That led to a more in-depth discussion.
“I had a video call with her and she told me the reason she wanted her brother’s room was that it’s bigger while hers is too small for her and her belongings.”
“I didn’t know what to tell her. So I told her that I felt uncomfortable with her taking the room while I’m not ready yet to go through her brother’s belongings.”
“She offered to clean it up and box up all his belongings but I sternly told her that it’s part of my grieving process and I’m the one who’ll want to go through his belongings first when I’m ready.”
OP that knew that would be tough to hear.
“My daughter looked visibly upset like she didn’t expect me to say this. And proceeded to talk about her current situation and insisted that her old room doesn’t fit her nor her stuff.”
“I told her my son’s room was off the table and that her request was inconsiderate since her room is available but she kept complaining about its size.”
“I told her I won’t open my son’s room for her period We started arguing and she told me that she will move in with a friend instead and gave me a guilting ‘thank you for your support’.”
OP found herself reeling when the video call ended.
“I felt absolutely horrible and my husband said I shouldn’t turned our daughter away from her own home and said I was being unfair to our living child.”
“I did not mean to hurt her, she might’ve thought that I don’t support her enough but it just happened. She’s asking me for something I can not let her have especially now.”
“I’m not planning on keeping his room intact for long but I feel like I need time to be able to process this part of my grief.”
“She’s not speaking to me only her dad who keeps telling me to let her have the room.”
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 supported OP by confirming she was not the a**hole. They pointed to the importance of the grieving process.
“NTA. It is not your job to make a demanding, entitled, inconsiderate adult child comfortable.”
“She can’t afford her rent. You have generously offered her old room back. If she doesn’t have enough room for her stuff, maybe she should rent a storage locker or have less stuff.”
“You do not need to set yourself on fire to keep her warm.” — ohyoushiksagoddes
“NTA! No no no no!!!!! Nothing more to say except I am so sorry for your loss. Do not let your daughter add guilt to your grief nor make you rush through your grieving process. She has absolutely no right to demand the room.” — Maddie215
Some emphasized a key fact.
“NTA Your daughter and husband are being a bit dramatic here. No one is being turned away, you just aren’t allowing her to upend your current household set up, her room is and always has been available to her.” — SensitiveAutistic
“NTA you didn’t turn your daughter away, she chose to have a fit when she didn’t get what she wanted. You need to be allowed a reasonable time to grieve and your husband needs to support that.”
“You’re not ignoring the needs of your living child, she chose to make herself go somewhere else as HER OWN DAMN ROOM wasn’t good enough.” — chubby-wench
Others, though, did empathize with OP’s daughter.
“You get to take the time you need to grieve and do it in whatever way you need to. But you need to understand that your daughter is grieving too and also clearly going through some other problems if she can no longer afford rent.”
“She asked to be close to you in her hard times and you basically prioritized your son’s room over your living daughters needs. If that’s what you need that’s what you need, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t feel pushed away in your daughters shoes.” — katiethekatie
“NAH I kinda understand both sides. You are still grieving and she probably feels like you’re picking her brother(who isn’t using the room) over her who needs more space.”
“Grief is weird so even though she isn’t being as understanding as she could be I don’t think it makes her an a**.” — helen790
“NAH. Just grief. A lot of grief, from everyone. Nobody is rational in grief.”
“OP, maybe you could find it in you to apologize to your daughter for the conflict, and that your grief is getting in the way of what she wants. That of course you’d like her to be home, but you just CAN’T deal with his room being changed right now, and maybe you two together can figure out another option.”
“Even if she can’t accept that, know that you both are operating from pain.” — Sweet_Cinnabonn
Perhaps the feedback will prompt OP to open up a discussion with her daughter so they both might see how grief is fueling the other.