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Terminally Ill Man Sparks Drama After Telling His Wife To ‘Shut Up’ About His Imminent Death

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A 36-year-old man facing a terminal diagnosis is tired of his 38-year-old wife’s focus on his death.

After finally snapping, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor AITA8Months asked:

“AITA for asking my wife to please shut up about my imminent death?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Me and my wife have been in a loving marriage for 6 years and together for 10. We have an amazing 3 year old girl together.”

“I don’t want to get too much into it but I’m not long for this earth if you catch my drift. I have about 8 months before I shed this earthly form.”

“Don’t f’king start with the ‘I’m so sorry’ stuff, that’s cool in all but I don’t like being treated or looked at like I’m going to die. In fact I don’t even really like talking about it.”

“We’ve already handled my affairs, my wife knows what I want, cremation and a new daddy for my daughter. My life insurance will take great care of them, and I’ve come to peace with my death.”

“My wife on the other hand is understandably a mess.”

“I don’t blame her, but sometimes I think it’s annoying. We’ve been spending as much time as possible together as a family which I really enjoy, but it’s incredibly difficult to enjoy my last months on this world when my wife becomes inconsolable.”

“I do my best to comfort, her I really do, but it’s hard to assure someone that everything will be fine after your own death. Honestly it makes my time with her more depressing.”

“I don’t want her to have to think about it as much, I want her last months with me to feel like the best months of her life.”

“When I’m gone I want her to think about the great places we’re going, the amazing love we’re making, the fantastic foods I’m cooking for her, only the good things. She can’t do that if every time I get close to her she starts crying.”

“Last week, we were cuddling in bed and I asked her to be big spoon. I turned around and she got on my back. I could hear her smelling my hair.”

“She then started quietly crying. I asked her what was wrong, she said she was going to miss the way I smelled.”

“I turned and sat up with her so she could cry on my shoulder. After she stopped I brought up my displeasure.”

“My exact words were, ‘I know you’re hurting and I want you to feel better and take care of you as much as possible. But right now, I need to to shut up about my death. It’s not doing any of us any good to talk about or think about my death’.”

“She was shocked, she told me that she’s never seen me be such an uncaring asshole. I apologized profusely, and told her that I just want to stop talking about it and thinking about it.”

“I talked to my sister and she said I’m the biggest asshole she’s ever met.”

“[AITA]?”

Redditors weighed in, declaring the OP was:

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

In a rare event for the AITA subReddit, people decide there were no a**holes here (NAH). 

“NAH. I think this is a very hard thing for anyone to get through. You have come to terms with it but your wife hasn’t and she may process her grief differently.”

“She is losing the love of her life and it’s probably really hard for her.”

“However, I can imagine hearing about your own death all the time is probably exhausting and depressing in the same way it is for your wife to think about it.”

“I really don’t think there are any assholes here, you were stating your feelings and she is entitled to hers as well.” ~ KindAddition

“Not to be harsh, but having lost loved ones when I was younger, my personal outlook is the tragedy of the loss for the person who’s passed ends for them when they go; but it goes on for a very long time for those they leave behind.”

“When OP goes, his suffering will be over, but his wife’s will have only begun. It’s great that he’s found peace with his situation; but his wife’s situation is not the same as his.” ~ Jetztinberlin

“This is actually why I think the wife is almost (but not quite) an AH though. I lost someone to a terminal illness a few years ago and when they were still alive I made sure not to lay all my grief on them.”

“Because that time was all they had left and I didn’t want to take it and make it about me. I didn’t want them to have to support me through the trauma of them dying.”

“That would have been sickening to me. I had the luxury of still being alive after they were gone and I let myself grieve fully THEN.”

“Then again, I didn’t have constant contact with that person so I could still cry on the bus, etc so I don’t think she is an AH.”

“I understand that this is more difficult because it is her husband and they have a kid and it’s a lot to handle but she has the rest of her life to grieve so maybe she shouldn’t use the rest of his life to grieve. NAH.” ~ ShowerOfBastards88

“I think it also changes if it’s an ‘out of order death’ i.e., we all expect we will have to bury our grandparents and parents. It doesn’t make it any less sad, but we have rituals in place as a species and in our individual in-groups.”

“For ‘out of order deaths’ – close age siblings, children, spouses or partners, friends – especially when there is a long period of watching them die, we don’t have the same rituals and resources.”

“People get awkward when they hear you are a widow at 28, or when a person reveals that of places they wanted to go together, things they wanted to do, hell even restaurants they wanted to visit.”

“For OP, that ends. But for Wife, it doesn’t.”

“Every time she sees a movie set in Italy, for example, maybe she remembers how they said that for their 25th anniversary they were going to see the Trevi fountain.”

“When her child begs to see the latest Disney movie, she gets to remember that they planned to take their child there when she turned 10. When she goes out for groceries maybe she passes the sushi place they loved, or the park they got engaged in, or the church where they got married.”

“The thing is, the rest of her life is milestones they wanted to meet together and never will. And she’s carrying not just her own grief but watching her baby grow up with only the faintest memories of her dad.”

“It is hard because the urge to turn to the person you love most in the world with your grief and pain is overwhelming. But in her case, that person is also the one dying.”

“I wonder if having some kind of counseling together, grief counseling, would help her to balance that tightrope.”

“I don’t think she’s the AH. We are given one moment of her doing this here. I think OP is not the AH either, though I think his wording was a little insensitive…”

“Yet he’s dying so he should be given some leeway on how sensitive he can be right now.” ~ SpyGlassez

The OP did not provide any updates. Hopefully he and his wife can reach an understanding so they can cherish the time they have left to be together.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metis Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. She considers herself another proud Maineiac.
Member of NAJA.