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Mom Upset After Reading Late Daughter’s Letter On Why She Didn’t Leave Anything To Stepsiblings

Woman reading letter
PIKSEL/Getty Images

Losing a family member is complicated enough as it is, but when people’s relationships with the deceased vary greatly, it becomes all the more complex.

Redditor Available_Mix2207 recently lost his sister, with whom he was close.

In contrast, the Original Poster’s (OP’s) late sister and her mom were not as close.

Recently the OP and his mom got in an emotional disagreement regarding his late sister, driving him to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

He asked:

“AITA for showing my mom the letter my sister wrote to me before she died?”

He went on to explain.

“I [16-year-old male] lost my sister ‘Birdy’ last year. Birdy was 20 when she died. She had been diagnosed with cancer a year before her death.”

“She knew she was dying so she made a will for the very few things she had. It was mostly sentimental childhood stuff she had.”

“Old stuffys and she had a necklace that our dad bought her. Stuff like that. It wasn’t a lot. But she left it all to me. She also wrote a letter to me before she died.”

“But anyway, I was the only person who got anything from Birdy. She left our grandparents (paternal) in charge of everything until I’m 18 or until I’m out of mom’s house.”

“The problem with this is mom has other kids. Birdy and I lost our dad when we were both kids. Mom remarried.”

“Neither of us really cared much for mom’s husband and when mom had more kids, we didn’t feel the same about them as we did each other. Birdy was more vocal while I didn’t say anything.”

“Mostly I didn’t want to fight with mom over it and I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But Birdy and mom never really got along and it was only worse after dad died and then mom remarried.”

“The fact Birdy left nothing for our half siblings and never even wrote them a goodbye letter bothers mom…”

“…and it really upset them because they wanted to know why she wrote to me and left me her stuff but not them. They wanted to read my letter but I said no.”

“It became a fight with mom then and she wanted to know why Birdy left the rest of the family nothing…”

“…and why even when she knew she was dying she couldn’t find a way to embrace the other kids enough to give them something, a small goodbye.”

“I showed mom the letter because Birdy wrote a lot about her feelings and mentioned things she and I talked about when mom wasn’t around.”

“I knew the letter would be a lot.”

“Birdy said clearly she never loved or cared about the other kids at all and wanted me to know that she didn’t want them to have anything…”

“…but if I felt differently, if I ended up loving them one day and wanted to give them something of hers, that she wouldn’t be mad.”

“Mom read the whole thing twice, if not three times, and then she asked me why I had shown her the letter and what did I want to do with her.”

“She was so mad she was shaking and she told me I was never to show my half siblings and I pointed out I had said no to them reading it already.”

“Nothing else was said that day but then mom told me I was cruel for rubbing my sister’s words in her face and she wanted me to know she might never be able to forgive me for it.”

“She told me forgiveness would be off the table if I ever breathed a word of it to her other kids.”


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:

“NTA. She asked and didn’t like the answer. That answer was not yours, it was birdy’s and in her own words.”

“I am sure it stung like hell, but, she asked. It is not right or fair for her to be mad at you for giving her what she wanted. Birdy had the right to do with her stuff what she wanted.”

“It would be best not to ever show the letter to the others, unless they push you into it.”

“My guess would be that they are going to, at some point, be jealous if there is any real money waiting for you and not them.”

“If you don’t have to hurt them then don’t if possible. Hide that letter very well and take a pic of it and email it to yourself for safe keeping. Good luck!” – ConfusedAt63

“You are not cruel. Your mom wanted to know. She seems to be a bit narcissistic and cannot acknowledge her role in your sister feeling the way that she did.”

“I am sorry that she is angry at you and lashing out at you and trying to make you feel like you did something wrong but you did not.”

“NTA” – Zookeeper-007

“NTA, I am so sorry for your loss. It is not your fault that your mom read the letter.”

“She nagged you to know why Birdy didn’t leave them anything. She didn’t like the answer you gave her.”

“You are only 16. I am sorry your mother said “she might not ever forgive you for it”.

“I feel so bad for you. You lost someone you truly loved. Someone who understood you. Your mom should not have said those things. I hope she doesn’t mean it.”

“Don’t show the letter to any of your step siblings. I think your mom is clearly oblivious to how you and your sister feel.”

“As a mother, it is her job to check in on you, make sure you feel emotionally safe and loved, and to help you work through your feelings. She isn’t doing that clearly.”

“You should talk to her about how you feel about your relationship with her after you lost your dad. Why you feel the way you feel about your ‘new’ family. Why your sister felt that way.”

“Tell her how hurt you are by the fact that she believes it’s your fault for showing her the letter. She wanted to know.”

“You tried to hide it. You are only 16. You have gone through a terrible loss.”

“Open up to any trusted family you have. Grandparents, uncles, and aunts about this situation if you are comfortable. They may be able to guide your mom.”

“Love and support.” – lynnhess001

“NTA! your sister had little time left to live and that time belonged to her not to anyone else.”

“If anything it’s sad and quite literally speaks volumes about the relationship between your mom and your sister, if she didn’t even know that bevore.”

“Not only that but your mother has been mad at her sister for executing her will and when you showed her why, she blames you?”

“I bet she knows she missed her Chance to console things while your sister was still alive but that’s not on you!” – Biased-explorer

“So you’re mom demanded and fought to see the letter, and then asked you why you let her?”

“Wait till you’re out of the house to say this, but in the future she should trust you more. Because if she’s going to f*ck around, she will find out.”

“She didn’t really give you a choice anymore.”

“NTA” – NatashOverWorld


“First, sorry for your loss, OP. Second, your mom demanded the letter to be read and can’t take the contents. She is taking it out on you.”

“I hope your mom gets help from a therapist or a counselor regarding her feelings. Yes. She is hurting but its not right to blame you for the contents of the letter that you didnt write.” – wolfram127


“Here’s the key point: ‘It became a fight with mom then and she wanted to know’.”

“She was pushing you so hard to find out what Birdy thought, and now she is blaming you for it, and even threatening you if you are honest with your siblings. That’s all bullsh*t.”

“And you didn’t ‘rub your sister’s words in her face.’ You simply gave in to her request to understand.”

“Of course, it’s complicated because your mother is grieving the loss of her daughter, but the way she is abusing you is unacceptable.”

“I’m sorry.” – SushiGuacDNA


“I have to ding Birdy a little bit here for not being clear with your mom about her decision to leave everything to you and not your half siblings before she died.”

“Making the decision she made is fine, but by not telling your mom she put YOU in a tough position. But on balance, the poor thing was only 20 and dying, I can’t say she’s an a**hole.”

“And it shouldn’t have been a total surprise either.”

“Your mother is an a**hole here.”

“I can’t fault her for wanting there to have been a better relationship between you and Birdy and the other kids or having a hard time accepting that that isn’t the way it is.”

“But what I can fault her over is saying you were ‘rubbing it in her face’ when you showed her the letter.”

“You didn’t even want to show your Mom the letter, you knew it would hurt her, and you only did when it became clear your Mom wouldn’t let it go.”

“It’s extremely unfair of her to blame you for showing her since it’s what SHE was asking for – to understand how Birdy felt.”

“I think she’s right that you need to be careful how you treat your half siblings here. They’re innocent here.”

“They all probably do understand on some level that Birdy didn’t love them but they don’t need to hear that she actually wrote down that she never loved them at all.”

“Maybe someday when they’re much older and it wouldn’t hurt them so much.” – nylonvest

Grief is a complicated emotion.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)