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Woman Called Out For Celebrating Birthday Even Though It’s On Anniversary Of Nephew’s Death

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Birthdays are a time to treasure and celebrate.

But birthdays can also be a sad reminder.

It’s unfortunate when celebration and grief collide.

Case in point…

Redditor notpickyaita wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for celebrating my birthday which is the 1 year anniversary of my nephew’s death?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (25 F[emale]) nephew (4 M[ale]) passed away 1 year ago because of cancer.”

“It was right on my birthday and there was no celebration, there was nothing, because everyone was devastated.”

“My sister Denise is still grieving, she’s in therapy and making some progress, but it’s been slow.”

“My family and I try to be as supportive as possible.”

“Birthdays in my family are very important, we throw huge parties.”

“I believe and have been taught that birthdays are important and should be cherished.”

“Yesterday was my birthday.”

“Obviously I felt bad about the anniversary of my nephew’s death.”

“But I was also a little down about not being able to celebrate like I used to and my girlfriend knew that.”

“In the morning, I went to Denise’s house, stayed by her side until almost lunch time, when my mother would stay with her (we didn’t want to leave her alone, but no one could stay all day).”

“I went to work and at night, my girlfriend made a surprise at home with a candlelight dinner and a small cake.”

“Something very intimate and for both of us, since my family was in a bad way.”

“I didn’t post on social media, but my girlfriend posted a picture of us holding hands and the dinner she made with ‘Happy Birthday, Love.'”

“My mom and Denise follow her on Instagram.”

“I woke up the next day to hundreds of texts from my mom and Denise, asking if I was celebrating even though it was such a sad day.”

“And how heartless I was to celebrate knowing my sister was in such a bad way.”

“Even though I said it was a surprise, they called me cold, heartless and insensitive to the pain of others, saying I should have refused to celebrate.”

“I was just glad I celebrated, because it’s something important to me and I didn’t even realize when my girlfriend posted this photo on insta.”

“By the way, in case you were wondering, none of them remembered it was my birthday.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Many Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. You didn’t make your mom or your sister celebrate with you.”

“It was you and your S[ignificant] O[ther].”

“Does Denise expect you to NEVER celebrate your birthday again?” ~ MysteriousNobody1020

“And while I’m sure she’s heartbroken at the loss of her young nephew, she has a life to live and celebrate while she can which she should be allowed to.”

“No one know the date a passing could or will happen just like births unless planned procedure.”

OP NTA. Happy Birthday hope she’s blessed with more while keeping nephew’s memories alive.”  ~ Cheap-Shame

“OP was so considerate here in my opinion.”

“Even the girlfriend did something super innocuous, OP didn’t want to do anything to make the day harder for her sister.”

“And the only time I have texted someone over a hundred times without response was during a panic attack when my boyfriend and best friend were both asleep.”

“So regardless of the reasons for the anger, that is just unacceptable.”  ~ livlivesforbrains

“NTA and agreed. This was a private, intimate celebration.”

“OP didn’t make the Instagram post.”

“And did nothing to call attention to their own birthday and was emotionally and physically present during the day with their grieving sibling.” ~ TheSparklingCupcake

“As someone who had a family member die on their birthday (my dad passed on my 15th) I can share with you that there is no right or wrong way to handle this.”

“How you feel about celebrating YOUR birthday is something you should listen to and respect.”

“If you don’t feel like celebrating then don’t.”

“But there isn’t an agreed upon mourning period and you deserve to live your life.”

“Grief is weird.”

“People should be allowed to process however they find helpful.”

“Denise and mom are allowed their journey but expecting you to take the same path isn’t realistic.”

“Feel free to reach out anytime you want to vent or celebrate with someone who is genuinely happy for you being alive.”  ~ rhodeje

“It makes me even sadder somehow that OP is saying they forgot her birthday.”

“Because they didn’t.”

“Her mother either pushed her out of her body or had her removed (I call myself a tumor baby because I was a C section lol).”

“She knows it’s OP’s birthday, they all know it’s OP’s birthday.”

“OP’s girlfriend wasn’t thinking about how upset this may make OP’s family, but OP did.”

“Also, the picture of a small low key surprise celebration’s when in the family most birthdays are a big is not a crime or being insensitive.”

“She didn’t involve her family, which I’m sure hurt, but she understood why it would be an issue, especially this year.”

“And OP offered her support on that day as long as she could.”

“She obviously cares about her sister.”

“They’re still grieving and grief is weird and causes so many inappropriate reactions to things at times.”

“It’s not ok for them to berate OP at all, but I’m hoping that this is out of character due to that grief.” ~ livlivesforbrains

“NTA. My cousin passed away 2 years ago the morning of my 28th birthday.”

“No one told me what had happened until the end of that day (my mom pulled me aside after dinner and told me).”

“I was devastated as he was the only one of my cousins on her side who really didn’t make me feel like such a weirdo/black sheep.”

“I felt terrible because I’d been posting things all day and when I asked why no one told me they said they didn’t want it to ruin MY day.”

“I was like ‘Well what about my aunt?! How is she doing? What’s going to happen?’ Etc.”

“My aunt to this day still has rough patches and grieves everyday.”

“But she NEVER made me feel like a bad person for doing something for my birthday just because losing him happened to coincide with that.”  ~ TessaCatherine92

“NTA and happy birthday.”

“Grief is hard but you need to celebrate the loved ones you still have while remembering the one you lost.”

“This is coming from someone who lost their dad as a teen.”

“It’s hard and painful.”

“But I always celebrate my birthday and his as we did.”

“Even though I shed a tear sometimes more it means he’s remembered in a loving away to me as well.” ~ Chonkycat101

“100% agree NTA.”

“Just because this child is gone doesn’t mean they should neglect (or at least not chastise) you for having an unplanned small party to celebrate you and your life.”

“Sadly people tend to fixate on the sad things like loss instead of the good things they still have (like you who celebrated your 25th year of life).”

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed their time to grieve, but that was really not ok for them to do to you.”  ~ MrTyranius

“NTA. When I read the title I thought you had thrown a big, raucous birthday party. Nope.”

“You had dinner with your girlfriend.”

“In no way were you or your partner insensitive to your sister.”

“If anything, I would consider a quiet intimate dinner instead of a large event a very respectful way to acknowledge your birthday without being excessive.”  ~ PJfanRI

“Exactly, you spent a decent portion of the day grieving with your sister, worked, and had a small private moment at home with your partner.”

“Your partner was also very respectful of the gravity of the day but made sure you were still acknowledged.”

“I can’t imagine how you possibly could have been more respectful and low key.”

“NTA. Your sister has suffered what is surely the worst thing she will ever face in her entire life.”

“But that doesn’t mean you are never allowed to be celebrated ever again.”

“I’m very sorry for your family’s loss and I hope they come around to see that they let their grief overcome their rational mind.”

“They owe you an apology.”  ~ Stegosaurus505

“NTA. You didn’t shove your birthday in everyone’s face.”

“You didn’t act like your birthday reigned supreme.”

“You spent time with your sister on a day she needed support and you had a very quiet event with your partner – which you have every right to do.”

“People grieve differently but that doesn’t mean aspects of life still shouldn’t be celebrated.”

“You acted appropriately.”  ~ nidoqing

OP… this is a tough situation.

Reddit clearly wants you to have a Happy Birthday.

Which is something you deserve.

Sorry for your family’s loss.