A deceased person leaves behind a network of loved ones.
Each friend, family member, colleague, and romantic partner once enjoyed a connection to that person, one full of characteristic nuances unique only to that pair.
Death severs each of those varying ties.
And so tragic loss can ignite complicated dynamics among the disparate people that once felt so connected to the deceased person.
One 26-year-old female Redditor was recently forced to navigate those emotional waters, a task that proved very difficult. She outlined the experience in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), who appropriately dubbed herself letteraita on the site, laid out the thrust of the conflict with the post’s title.
“AITA for not wanting to give my dead fiancé’s letters addressed to me to his parents?”
OP began with some heartwarming context.
“My fiancé [28-year-old male] was the best human on earth and we loved each other.”
“We were old fashioned in some ways. He was military and when he was out on his deployments he would write me physical letters, in his handwriting if that’s not obvious.”
“I would write back and that’s what we did. It’s also the 21 century and we FaceTimed and stuff but there was nothing more satisfying than getting a letter to him in the mail.”
But nothing lasts forever.
“Recently he died and I was crushed.”
“I saved his letters and everything and it felt like there was a piece of him alive with me.”
As if grieving wasn’t hard enough, a new obstacle came into view.
“His parents contacted me wanting the letters. All of them.”
“I said no as they’re addressed to me and written specifically for me.”
“They said they had nothing as they were never close. They said I had pictures and memories and letters and they’re only asking for the letters.”
“I told them that I won’t give them to them.”
The impasse led to some choice words from the in-laws.
“They’re saying I would’ve been an awful [daughter-in-law] anyway and other things I don’t want to repeat.”
“AITA for not wanting to give them the letters?”
“I can hear his voice and I don’t want to lose that.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to provide feedback by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP she was not the a**hole.
“NTA. I’m so sorry for your loss. I cannot fathom why they would want to read private correspondence and take those lovely letters from you. Sending you lots of love xxxx” — Illustrious-Band-537
“NTA. Annnnd block them.” — anchovie_macncheese
“What kind of weirdos would want, no DEMAND their son’s love letters? That’s gross. NTA” — weaponizedpastry
“NTA as the wife of a soldier myself, I also wouldn’t give his letters to his parents. Don’t give them up.”
“There was probably a reason he was never close to his parents in the first place.” — VitriolicWyverns
Others shared that last sentiment.
They highlighted the fact the parents had equal opportunity to amass meaningful gestures and artifacts.
“NTA. If they werent close it was their own fault.” — drjamesbarry
“Gee wiz. I wonder why they weren’t close. If they treat you like that, imagine how they were treating him.” — consolationpanda
“NTA. They had years to write letters to their son and never did. That is the consequences of having a poor relationship with their son.”
“They already have your letters in their possession, I assume. Let that be enough for them.” — wind-river7
“NTA. The letters are yours alone. It’s not your fault he and his parents were distant from each other.” — rustymomma
Many emphasized OP’s clear ownership of those letters ended this debate before it ever started.
“NTA – the letters were written for you, and are private and personal. They’re yours to keep. They have absolutely no right to those letters.” — jmkllama
“Widow here, you are absolutely NTA. You keep every single piece of him that you want. YOU were his fiancée, you were there for him.”
‘Those are intimate, personal letters to YOU. Hang in there, girl. ❤️” — BooyaMoonBabyluv
“NTA. They are addressed to you and only to you. You don’t owe them to anyone else, especially to people who admit they weren’t close to him.” — InxKat13
As for how to end the argument once and for all, multiple Redditors offered the same idea.
“NTA, say they’re all very sexual and they don’t need to know about his pee fetish. That’ll shut them right up.” — throwaway00000000987
“NTA tell them they were sexual letters xD” — VitalityVixen
“Sorry for your loss and NTA. He obviously meant a lot to you.”
“I think I would tell them that the letters contain graphic sexual content and you really don’t think they want to read that from their son.” — Lanky-Temperature412
A few, though, did make space for OP to give her late boyfriend’s grieving parents something to remember.
“NTA…. but if you have pictures, then scanning them and sending copies would be a kind thing to do for grieving parents.” — PeggyHW
“NTA. The letters were written to you and you are perfectly reasonable to want to keep them.”
“If you wanted to make copies of the photos, that would be a nice gesture, but you don’t have to.” — eaca02124
“It’s so weird that they are asking for the letters. You’re NTA but if you feel bad for them send them a photo of him and leave it at that.”
“The letters are definitely yours and not to be shared” — Sea-Understanding175
Hopefully, OP isn’t forced to shoulder any further verbal attacks from her boyfriend’s parents. But at least thanks to Reddit, she have no questions about her stance.