Religion can be a touchy, even divisive, subject for many people.
Many people are able to practice the faith of their choice, and can happily live amongst those who practice a different religion.
There are others, however, who treat religion as a way of life, and have no tolerance for people who do not share their exact beliefs and values.
Which often causes people to flee the religion they were brought up on.
Such was the case of the brother of Redditor ThrowRa_grvy, who passed away at an untimely age.
As a result, the original poster (OP) found herself at odds with many members of her family, particularly her grandmother, when she was faced with organizing his funeral.
Wondering if she had done the right thing, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for arranging my late brother’s funeral according to his wishes and breaking my grandma’s heart?”
The OP explained how she felt obligated to honor the wishes of her late brother regarding his funeral, even though they didn’t coincide at all with the wishes of her devoutly catholic grandmother.
“My (26 F[emale]) older brother(38) died last week.”
“We have huge, extremely religious family, while my brother was an atheist and because of that he was considered to be a disgrace and I was the only family member he remained in touch with.”
“He left a will in which he stated I was to be the one responsible for planning his funeral, using the money he has left me.”
“Now, I think I should also add that I’m living in a catholic country.”
“Even though a lot of young people tend to stray from religion these days, there is still a pressure, especially from family, regarding funeral traditions.”
“As I said before, my brother was an atheist though, so I arranged everything accordingly.”
“There was no prayer vigil the night before the funeral, no requiem mass and no priest.”
“I asked for a celebrant instead, or master of ceremony?”
“I’m not sure how it’s called in english, I’m sorry, who delivered a eulogy written by my brother’s girlfriend.”
“She didn’t want to deliver a speech herself, because they were not married and had a kid together, therefore she was afraid of our religious family reaction.”
“I thought I did the right thing by honoring my late brother’s wishes regarding his burial, but my grandparents had a complete meltdown upon arriving and learning about the lack of traditional catholic ceremony.”
“You see, my grandma turned 91 this year, so when she started crying about my brother not being granted ‘eternal redemption’ and going to hell for not being blessed by a priest our parents decided to take her home in case it took a tool on her health.”
“I was called the disgrace for breaking my grandma’s heart by our family.”
“Everyone knew my brother was an atheist, but according to my family I should do what everyone is doing in my country, which means disregarding someone’s faith, or lack of it, and arranging the funeral according to catholic traditions.”
“I’m sitting on this for a few days now.”
“My grandma’s health has greatly deteriorated and I’m to blame for it.”
“My late brother’s girlfriend thanked me for listening to his last wish, but at the same time I’m made out to be a satan personified for the same thing.”
“I really need to hear if I’m an a**hole, for my own conscience.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not at all the a**hole for not giving her brother a religious funeral.
Everyone agreed that the OP did exactly the right thing by honoring her brother’s wishes for his funeral and was in no way responsible for her grandmother’s declining health, with many pointing out that the rest of the OP’s family could still honor her brother in a religious fashion if they wanted to.
“Funerals are for the family of the dead.”
“However, if the dead makes it clear how they want their funeral, then it should he respected.”
“I don’t envy your position, and I believe you did the right thing.”
“If the family wanted a religious ceremony then they can still arrange it so they can grieve how they want.”- runedued
“You did what your brother asked for.”
“You did the right thing.”- Katana1369
“You said that your brother was only in touch with you in terms of family.”
“If your grandmother and others cared so much, they should’ve not seen him as a disgrace or gotten in touch with you ahead of time.”
“Your brother’s girlfriend thanked you, which is what matters more than your grandma.”
“She and you were his family, not these people who are being manipulative and self-centered about someone they didn’t even have a relationship with.”- FancyPantsDancer
“Well done for honoring him and may he rest in peace knowing he had a wonderful brother.”-slinkychameleon
“Honoring your brother in the way he would’ve wanted is way more important than grandma’s personal beliefs.”
“It would’ve been disrespectful to give him a catholic funeral.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”- CrystalQueen3000
“The will, a legal document, stated how the money left was to be spent.”
“Grandmother is NOT prevented from holding a personal prayer vigil for your brother.”
“I understand her being upset and its a shame there was no way to compromise but her faith is strong and her prayers for her grandsons soul will be heard.”
“She can also have Masses Said for him.”- Maddie215
“Sorry for your loss, but this was your brother’s funeral, not your grandmother’s.”
“Explain to her that when she passes, she can rest assured that you will follow her wishes just as you did for your brother.”
“Her belief’s are her problem, they are not yours.”- oldnjgal
“The 38-year-old dying young and leaving a family behind gets to choose, for his GF and child, how he wants to be remembered.”
“Can you do a more traditional ceremony for your family, call it a Remembrance Ceremony or something?”
“Or maybe ask your grandmother’s priest to say a few words at the next Mass she attends?”
“Or have him come to your home and say a few words?”- Straight-Singer-2912
“You honored your brother’s wishes and he was right in trusting you.”
“His girlfriend was also very grateful to you and that should ease your mind that you did the right thing.”
“The rest of the family can arrange another ceremony to grief as they wish and none of this placed guilt into you would be necessary.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”- Katarchitect
“Why would the family attend the funeral of someone they considered a disgrace?”
“He wasn’t in touch with any if them, choosing to live his life as he saw fit.”
“He wrote a will and entrusted you to carry it out.”
“You did what he wanted.”
“He was well aware of the family’s reactions and trusted you to plan his funeral the way he wanted.”
“You did right by your brother.”
“Your family: ‘He’s not a disgrace now that he’s dead’.”
“One second before he died: ‘what a disgrace’.”
“They want to own everything about him through their f*cking religion.”
“To deny him dignity even in f*cking death.”
“He rejected it entirely in life and death and they don’t f*cking care.”- RichardsLeftNipple
“Firstly, I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“You are in no way shape or form responsible for your grandmothers poor health.”
“I’m from a dominantly catholic background, it was quite the talk among the family when I got married outside a church.”
“Though to be fair to my family, the main comment was how beautiful it was, they were surprised by that if you get my meaning.”
“Anyways, I understand the pressures you were under, you 100% did the right thing by following his last wishes.”
“Give your family some time, everyone’s emotions are high right now.”- bertoshea
“You HONORED your brothers wishes.”
“You honored his wishes.”
“You did right by your brother and DIDN’T cause granny’s issues!”- ThinkCow83
“This may be insensitive and I truly do hope your grandmothers health improves, but she can have her funeral the way she wants but that’s not what your brother wanted and you did the right thing for him.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”- StarbuckandTex
“You honored the dead by abiding by their will.”- NeoStriker13
It’s pretty sad that the OP’s family would even think about being angry at her, merely for respecting her brother’s dying wish.
After all, the foundation of just about every religion, but particularly Christianity, is forgiveness.
Seeing as they all remain devoutly religious, one imagines they can pray for his redemption and peace in his next life.