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Woman Irate When Sister’s Boyfriend Plans To Propose During Family Trip To Spread Dad’s Ashes

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Nothing sparks family drama quite like weddings and funerals. And in one woman on Reddit’s case, it was a combination of the two that set things off.

She wasn’t okay with her future brother-in-law’s choice to propose to her sister on their family trip to spread their recently passed father’s ashes.

But when she said so it sparked major drama. So, she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective on how she handled it.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for ruining my sister’s boyfriends plan to propose on our family trip to spread my dads ashes?”

She explained:

“My (28f[emale]) sister (38f[emale]) has been absolutely livid with me and has been distant ever since she found out that I was adamantly against that her boyfriend (41m[ale]) is planning to propose on our family trip to Ireland to spread my dads ashes.

“It happening on this trip bothers me for a number of reasons. 1) this trip is about my dad. His final wishes were to have his ashes spread in Ireland and we are doing it over the 1 year memorial.”

“2) my mom is paying for the whole trip for everyone including the bf. First class international flights, 5 star stay for a week.”

“I feel like he’s capitalizing on this free trip to make it ‘special’ when he really just can’t afford to take her to Ireland on his own dime so he’s doing it on my moms.”

“3) who wants their engagement date around the date of their dads death? 4) i feel like this is akin to proposing at a funeral. Who does that!!!”

“I didn’t really intend for her to find out how I feel about it.”

“I just wanted to vent to some other family members and then work through my own feelings so that the proposal is just a blip on the trip and we can go back to remembering my dad.”

“Unfortunately everyone is apparently a loud mouth.”

“I sent her an apology text telling her how sorry I am and that I love her and just want her to be happy.”

“But now she’s saying I made her bf feel ‘unwelcome’ in the family and that she doesn’t want it to happen anymore because I ruined it.”

“But I honestly don’t care, he shouldn’t be proposing on this trip. I think it’s inappropriate. AITA?”

OP then returned to the post to add a bit more context.

“EDIT: Bf initially asked me for help with the proposal. I felt uneasy about it and told my mom who felt the same as I did.”

“Turns out the bf told my sister anyway his plans so there goes the surprise.”

“DOUBLE EDIT: I know the first class/5 star comment is a little polarizing but we sold one of my dads possessions to cover the cost of the trip for everyone and to make it as nice as we could given the circumstance …”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And for the most part they all agreed with OP that proposing on an ash-spreading trip was pretty inappropriate.

“NTA-You are absolutely correct. No one should be proposing on a trip like this.” –GothPenguin

“In my eyes it could possibly be OK depending on the family but what made OP NTA and the boyfriend TA is that it makes their mom uncomfortable.”

“He should have asked her first. She pays for everyone on this trip to honor her husband wish and the boyfriend wanted to hijack it and make it about them a fun romantic weekend and not a memorial as it was planned.” –National-Platypus144

“Also, mom (who is paying for everything) also doesn’t feel comfortable with the bf’s plans! If the person paying for the trip disapproves, don’t do it!” –saucynoodlelover

“I wonder what he plans… Hide the ring in the ashes and when they want to spread them and find the ring he propose?”

“This trip is about the death of the father and the final goodbye and to make it about him / the engagement is just disgusting.”

“Would he propose on a funeral if it is in another country? Well, he would maybe…”

“NTA” –EvilFinch

“Her boyfriend is definitely riding on the coattails of your dads special farewell event. It would put a pretty sour taste in my mouth too.”

“Instead of her bf providing his own special event for his proposal he’s banking on the mother’s dime to provide the gorgeous accommodations.”

“It’s cheap and gross to do. Nta” –Escape_Overlander

“Yep. Tacky, even without the financial tailgating. He’s taking attention off the very important purpose of the trip. NTA” –Only-Ingenuity7889

“NTA”

“You didn’t tell her. You didn’t tell her boyfriend. You planned on letting it happen, while telling other people in the family that you thought it was inappropriate and disrespectful.”

“Somebody you told is the a-hole here. Somebody you told let your sister and her boyfriend know. They are the one(s) responsible for the hurt feelings here.” –Salt-Breath-8827

“NTA”

“This is as close to proposing during a funeral that you can get and almost as bad as proposing at some else’s wedding.”

“The trip is to accompany your mom in fulfilling your dad’s final wish, and it’s a beautiful thing that she is bringing everyone to share in that.”

“The trip should be about remembering and memorializing your father and being a family.” –tatersprout

“NTA I was at the yahrzeit (multi-day Jewish wake) of a friend’s parent and that friend’s boyfriend pulled me aside as someone really close to her to ask if I’d help him plan a way to propose the following night” –Obviousarracu

“Sure, they are going somewhere really beautiful and the trip is most likely going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

“But it’s not some random family vacation it’s a memorial trip, and to try and turn it in to a engagement celebration is honestly super disrespectful.” –Zupergreen

“Yup! And as an Irish person in Ireland, we do death well, and they will be treated kindly as people who are mourning when they are here if they tell people why they’re here.”

“It would be a whiplash inducing tonal shift for the boyfriend to propose! Wildly inappropriate! Like, breathtakingly egotistical… Scattering ashes is a sombre affair.”

“Or maybe not, depending on the deceased and their loved ones, that’s fair. But you don’t make it about you, someone tangentially related, rather than the deceased!” –Anxious_Reporter_601

“NTA – Who da fu*k thinks a trip to spread someone’s ashes is an appropriate time for a proposal?” –notlucyintheskye

“NTA.”

“‘Hey, baby, I know we’re here to honor your father on the one-year anniversary of his passing, and allow him to find eternal rest in this beautiful country.'”

“‘Also, totally chill of your mom to pay for us all to come here, since I couldn’t afford it. So, anyway, will you marry me?'”

“…OP, look, if your sister might actually be happy about getting a proposal at such a thoughtless time, then I think those two deserve each other.”

“He could literally have chosen another date or time. This is also like proposing right when someone is giving birth.” –YarnAndMetal

“Nailed it!!! As a man he should take his woman on a trip just the two of them and make it special if that’s how he wants to propose.”

“He doesn’t have to do a trip if that’s not in the budget, no shade. But knowing it’s not in the budget personally so doing it on someone else’s budget on an ashes spreading trip??”

“Also the thought of proposal sexy time happening in a nearby hotel room on my dads memorial trip just makes my skin crawl” –mbm1317

“NTA.”

“It’s in poor taste that her boyfriend was planning to use the trip to honour your dad and his ashes to propose. Yuck!”

“I feel like this is in the same boat as not proposing or announcing pregnancy during weddings, funerals, baby shower, bridal shower, bdays and such.”

“You probably could have talked to your sister’s boyfriend privately and explained all that, but then again, that might have been your sister’s idea for her boyfriend to propose to her then?” –silly_vengeful_sloth

“NTA. Your BIL is wrong for even thinking about it imo. Like you said it’s about your dad.” –lologd

“NTA, I would be beyond pissed if someone did that at the memorial or funeral of a family member.”

“Even on a trip to honor the last wishes. He should wait for a different trip; a trip he AT LEAST helped pay or plan for.” –Persistent_Panther29

“NTA”

“Who wants to get engaged close to their dads death anniversary, on a trip to scatter his ashes?”

“I would be absolutely livid if my bf planned to do that, and even more livid if my sister & mum didn’t immediately crush that idea.” –winsomebunny

“NTA This is ick. It’s not like proposing at a funeral, it is literally proposing at a funeral.”

“You’re spreading ashes and carrying out last wishes. How can this seem like the right time to propose to anyone???” –Zealousideal-Crew783

Hopefully OP and her faily can’t work this out.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.