in , ,

Parents Furious After Son Posts ‘Dark Humor’ TikToks About His Sister Who Died In Car Crash

Couple grieving at graveyard
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Content Warning: Car Accident, Grief, Grieving Process, Dark Humor

Everyone has a different approach when it comes to grieving, and some of the approaches are so different, it can be difficult to understand why a person might grieve one way but not another.

It could go so far as to feel inappropriate or disrespectful, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit, though it’s the best way for that person to cope.

Redditor Puppy_Cat_Boots was overcome with grief alongside his wife when their daughter died in a car crash.

But when he discovered his almost adult son was coping by creating dark humor videos about the car accident, the Original Poster (OP) felt his daughter’s memory was so disrespected, he considered kicking his son out.

He asked the sub:

“WIBTAH (Would I be the a**hole) for kicking my son out for making ‘dark humor’ TikToks about our daughter’s death?”

The OP was grieving the loss of his daughter in a car accident.

“My daughter (16 Female) died seven months ago in a car accident.”

“The other driver was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic like a maniac on the highway, ultimately hitting my baby girl.”

“The driver died on impact, but she died six hours later in the hospital due to her injuries.”

The OP and his wife had a different approach to coping than their son.

“My wife and I attend individual therapy, as well as marriage counseling. It’s been extremely hard for both of us, but we have made considerable progress given the circumstances.”

“We begged our son to get therapy and go to family counseling with us, but he refused. He’s 19 and in college so we can’t force him to go.”

“Our therapist gave us a list of warning signs to look out for, and he seemed to be coping well with the loss. We decided to let him grieve in his own way.”

But their son’s approach soon went too far for them to accept.

“The issue is my wife discovered a video my son made that went viral on TikTok. It was reposted by another account.”

“It was a dark humor video. He wrote, from his sister’s perspective, ‘Before and after getting my driver’s license,’ and featured her school picture and then a picture of her gravestone and totaled car. The 3000+ comments were extremely f**ked up and had similar ‘jokes.'”

“We found his account which had more than one video like this. In another, he wrote, ‘Us then vs now,’ and included a baby photo of them and then cut to a selfie of him next to her hospital bed before she died.”

“There were in total five different posts similar to this, each more disgusting.”

“My wife was inconsolable. She had a severe mental breakdown. I had to take her to the ER so she could be sedated and given fluids due to her vomiting and hyperventilating.”

The OP lashed out at his son.

“I confronted my son, who defended himself, saying he uses these videos to ‘cope’ with her death. He said that ‘dark humor’ is the way he grieves.”

“I could barely look at him. I told him to pack his things and stay with his grandparents.”

“He was angry and said we both need to ‘move the f**k on’ and stop taking our grief out on him.”

“It’s been two weeks and my wife doesn’t want to be anywhere near my son anytime soon. I can’t say I disagree. It’s been about a giant ten steps back for both of our grieving processes.”

“Our son being gone was supposed to be temporary, but my wife and I think it’s time for him to move into an off-campus student apartment to give us all some space and establish boundaries.”

“We haven’t told him this yet, but plan to when he returns home next week.”

“While he was away, he did apologize in a text to both my wife and I. However he still insists it wasn’t wrong for him to post those videos publicly for millions of people to see. He believes we are being too dramatic and taking it too personally.”

“It took me threatening to disown him before he took down the videos.”

The couple wasn’t sure how to move forward.

“A few of my friends think we are going too far by essentially abandoning him and kicking him out of our home. They said to keep in mind he’s still a stupid kid, and he’s digging in his heels because he wants attention.”

“We’ll be paying for his rent, but he will have to cover the other costs himself (food, gas) since that’s the most we can afford right now. He will have to get a part-time job while going to class.”

“We still love our son but neither of us can handle this right now for the sake of our marriage and mental health.”

“Honestly, I think I need to put my wife first here, and if that means he needs to leave, then I’ll do that for her. Plus, he’s 19 (turning 20 soon), so it’s not like he’s a child…”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some empathized and pointed out this must be an impossible situation for everyone.

“This is a hard situation for everyone involved.”

“I don’t know if him moving out will send the message you want. It could further destroy the relationship you all are having a hard time maintaining. It’s very common following such a tragic loss in a family.”

“One word of advice might be to include in ‘your moving out’ talk is that family therapy is non-negotiable at this point. He seems remorseful to an extent and I think that can go a long way.”

“What everyone is forgetting is that he is only 19. Sure, society says he is an adult, but we all mature at different rates. AND our brains do not fully develop until our mid-20’s. It means we can make some really stupid f**king decisions.”

“As a parent myself, I would be unbelievably hurt and mortified if my child acted that way following the death of their sibling. But I also know that I still love my child and their actions are clearly a cry for help.”

“People’s grief pops up in strange and sometimes disturbing ways. It’s a safety mechanism of our brain, even if logically it doesn’t make sense. His outlet could literally be that he can trauma dump onto millions of people he will never have to see again or worry about getting vulnerable with.”

“Boundaries will need to be drawn for all your sakes and I think the number 1 is that everyone goes to therapy. Because it’s still important that you all remain a family.” – MKB813

“In a coincidental bit of bad timing, I’m dealing with my annual ‘Dealing with The Feels’ as the anniversary of Mom’s death passes. (Early July. I refuse to look up the exact date because I like not quite knowing and not having an exact date to have a breakdown.)”

“That said, my jokes are ON POINT and she would have LOVED them. Mom had a dark sense of humor and that’s where I learned it. She would have told me to tell those who judged me to F themselves and let their moms watch (or something even MORE inappropriate.)”

“I am An Old, therefore don’t understand Gen-Z, who process their feelings through online postings, but I know that’s a thing and I accept that I am too old to understand.”

“I am so sorry for OP, who is hurting and likely does not have the emotional bandwidth to even try to understand how his son is dealing with his grief, but I sincerely hope they are able to have patience and understanding for the fact that they don’t understand one another, because everyone in this family is in pain and they really need one another, and will need them in the future.” – 40WattsTardis

“Yeah, we are adults so we don’t make it public out of respect for other members of our family who are similarly grieving and would be hurt by it, but my husband and I use VERY dark humor when it comes to talking about the death of his mom, the uncle who raised me, his best friend, and me having cancer, etc…”

“We had a really s**tty year with a lot of deaths and other trauma back to back, and humor helped us cope. We still sometimes make milder jokes years later, like when he leaves for his grief group telling him to have fun at his ‘dead moms club,’ etc…”

“I’m kind of curious how the mom found these Tiktoks. I know it’s public, but most adults her age aren’t on that app. Was she actively looking for them? Is she really giving her son space to sort out his grief on his own schedule and in his own way?”

“My family could be overbearing in trying to make me talk to them about death when I needed more space and had other people to talk to. And again, I was an adult in my 30’s. Way more capable of setting boundaries and dealing with grief than a 19-year-old.” – wendydarlingpan

“I was a nightmare when my mom died. I was 21 while he was 19 if you consider that three years especially important but I was spiteful, aggressive, paranoid, you name it. It took months to work through and be better but nothing like this ever crossed my mind.”

“I get people are people and grief is wild and scary but how does nobody get the insidiousness of this kid apparently needing to work through his grief by involving thousands of eyes via social media on photos of his dead sister his parents have expressed are sensitive (the wrecked car and her in the hospital specifically). And not just the photos but sarcastic memes, which again, would make total sense to me without the insistence and adamance in keeping them public.”

“Even if this is all just a grief-stricken spiral, you are responsible for what you do and say while grieving. If you hurt someone else while you’re hurting, it’s on you to fix it. He needs help, they all need therapy, and it’s a goddamn shame this is happening to them at all.” – peachpinkjedi

“First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.”

“I just want to add my two cents: I’m a teacher who gets along pretty well with my students (middle school and high school level) so they are always showing me or sending me TikToks or explaining new trends to me.”

“These dark humor-style TikTok videos about a deceased relative are actually more common than you’d think. Your son is not the only person who has made them, and they are genuinely legitimate ways of coping with traumatic loss.”

“I totally understand and empathize with your reaction, but I just want to make the case that people from the younger generation are not always making TikToks like this out of disrespect, and they’re not always making light of a serious situation.”

“In this case, it’s pretty hard to justify him saying you need to ‘move the f**k on,’ but I wonder if that is an example of him suppressing his grief, rather than him not feeling any. Again I’m not defending him, just suggesting another explanation for how his 19-year-old brain (the brain doesn’t finish developing until ~25 years old) might be dealing with this.”

“As a final thought, our generation and the younger generation view mental health differently. That’s just a fact. In the same way that you might see this as an inappropriate and unhealthy way to respond to grief, keep in mind that your way of responding to grief might look just as insane to him.” – LoafOf_Bread

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in another post.

“Firstly, I’d like to send a sincere thank you to everyone who not only commented but read my original post. This is a very dark and vulnerable time for my family. We are lost, confused, and battling with a grief that has consumed us so entirely that it hurts to physically breathe most days.”

“Secondly, my son is a good man, son and brother. He loved and cherished his sister deeply, and I know in my heart that it was never his intention to make light of her death. Nor would he ever intentionally hurt his mother, myself, or anyone.”

“It’s been an emotionally exhausting and draining last few hours for both my family and me. However, I am happy to provide a bittersweet update for all the wonderful people who took the time to read my original post. You all helped me realize I needed to act now and fast if I were to ever repair our family.”

“I called my son on the phone after reading the comments. I asked him why he posted those videos.”

“He said he was just hurting.”

“We were quiet for a while. His voice broke when he asked if his mom and I still loved him.”

“I failed my son. I failed him. What he needed was a father who gave unconditional love, support, and protection. He needed his dad. I was too stupid, selfish, and angry to see he was hurting more deeply than any of us. We lost our daughter, but he had lost his sister.”

“We needed him to be the strong, mature son of his broken parents. The brave one. The one to shoulder our pain. We took his cry for help as him kicking us while we were down.”

“My wife and I immediately left to pick him up and bring him home. What I saw was a broken little boy needing his mom and dad. Not the pathological monster our grief painted him as. He had visible bags under his eyes and lost a lot of weight. We were too blind to see it.”

“We both profusely apologized and will be showing him how sorry we are for the rest of our lives. We vowed to do right by him. We all cried together on the couch for a while.”

“Our son is taking a year off of school to heal and work on his mental health at his request. He also agreed to attend weekly therapy. He will be home with us.”

“We will also be seeing a family therapist. My wife is seeking medication to get a handle on her panic attacks. I signed up for a grief support group specifically for fathers.”

“This is all just a start for a very long and difficult journey ahead of us.”

“Thank you everyone for giving me a major kick in the a** and a wake-up call. I may have lost a daughter, but I will not be losing my son. Not now or ever again.”

“This community can move mountains, and affect the lives of real people facing real issues. I’ve learned a lot about what grief means for different people. No one’s grief is invalid or wrong, and everyone handles it differently. This is a lesson I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”

“This morning I am making pancakes and bacon while my son and my wife watch Netflix in the family room. The windows are open. Our daughter’s cat actually came out of her room on her own for the first time to lie on the couch with them.”

“Our lazy Saturday. It’s the first time in months we have done this since our daughter passed. It feels bittersweet. Different.”

Fellow Redditors were deeply relieved that the OP was trying something new.

“It’s such a relief to read this. I was in tears hopeful they would see it for the grieving it was and could react to each other.” – Bitter_Animator2514

“They’re all hurting and messed up, but they’ll be alright and there for each other. What broke me was the cat, those little fuckers are so sensitive with their environment, he could tell that it isn’t a house with people inside but a home again.” – GlitterDoomsday

“Honestly, this is one of the best things I’ve read on Reddit. The comments on the original post were a bit mixed so could easily have gone the other way.”

“Unfortunately, this family is in for a rough time but to be able to work through it together will make it a better process.”

“Good on the OP for really taking on board the advice and following through, rather than just seeking endorsement for being an AH.” – PTRendez

“Oh man. What every child wronged by their father so desperately wants to hear. I’m almost 40, have my own family, and am ultimately very happy with my life but I STILL dream of my father realizing he’s f**ked up and apologizing to me.”

“So I want you to know, THIS is what will stay with your son: your apology and commitment to showing up for him.”

“My heart is absolutely broken for y’all, and I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. Thinking about y’all and sending y’all all all all the love.” – xinexine

“My parents never apologized and I literally just took a 10-minute break to cry over this. The level of accountability here is healing to witness. If my parents displayed 1% of this I would still be in contact with them.”

“OP, I’m so incredibly impressed. You’ve fully understood where you went wrong and the impacts it’s had, which is tough for anyone to do. The way you’ve handled this after that realization is phenomenal. You’re in such a hard place right now and you’ve made mistakes, but this recovery is what will stick with your son.”

“The fact that you realized, apologized, changed course, and demonstrated that your love for him trumps everything else on your plate; that’s what counts. That’s what he’ll remember decades from now, the moment when you finally saw him, finally got what was happening, and you stepped in, wrapped him up, and took care of him.”

“He will be a better man for having seen you do this. You’re a better man for having done it too. It’s all going to be OK, the worst bits are over and you’re all in it together now.”

“So much love to you and your family, and thank you so much for sharing this update. I honestly can’t express how meaningful it is to see that people can do this for the people they love. It gives me hope and a kind of peace, knowing that real love like this exists and can overcome such immense obstacles.” – Chance-Lavishness947

The subReddit ached for what the OP and his family were going through, but many were relieved to see the son and his parents reunited and ready to work through their grief together.

While the son may not grieve in a way that his parents and some Redditors can empathize with, that doesn’t make his love for his sister any less real or his process of grieving her loss any less profound.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.