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Woman Sparks Drama After Not Informing Her Estranged Father That Her Mom Had Passed Away


A woman privately mourned the loss of her mother—who had been divorced and struggling with “an aggressive ailment.”

When Redditor Advanced_Prune_7754 was emotionally ready, she announced her mother’s death on social media.

However, the delayed announcement sparked family drama, which led her to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:

“AITA for not telling my dad that my mom passed away?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“My (26 F[emale]) parents got divorced after 22 years of marriage. High school love.”

“Looking back at their relationship, I was surprised they lasted 22 years. I’m pretty sure my dad was never faithful, and ultimately had his exit affair when I was in my second year of college.”

“My mom had hope he would come back, but he didn’t. Got married a year later to a woman we all knew. Their divorce was messy.”

“For the last 3 years they didn’t have any kind of contact or communication. Earlier this year my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive ailment, which took her life last month.”

“I loved her a lot, and her being gone was a huge blow to me and my brother.”

“Now, my brother cut all contact with our father after the divorce. I still maintained contact, wishing him well on birthdays and things like that. I stopped discussing sensitive topics with him as I knew he would talk to his wife about them, and I didn’t want that.”

“I don’t particularly know that woman and don’t want her knowing my business.”

“So when mom passed away last month, for a month I took a break from all social media. I didn’t have contact with anyone. People close to me knew what happened, but I didn’t publicly mourn my mom.”

“Finally after one month, I felt emotionally ready to make a public post about her death.”

“So here my dad immediately calls me up, demanding to know why I didn’t tell him that mom was sick, or that she died. He told me that he could have helped us connect with better doctors etc etc (he’s a doctor).”

“He sounded angry and told me that he had the right to know.”


Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:

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

“NTA. He is not entitled to private information on his ex wife, especially if he has been out of contact for 3 years.”

“It sounds like he is feeling guilt and is trying to convince himself he could have changed the outcome, but you made the best decision you could based on what you know about your mom and her wishes.” – SuddenlyZoonoses

“Sometimes people who are doctors (my dad, for instance) do this thing to their family where they act like they’re the doctor in charge all the time. It’s annoying af and basically they think they are entitled to know everyone’s diagnoses and medical histories.”

“The correct answer is to just repeat to them ‘You are not and were not her doctor. She had the ability to tell you, she didn’t want to. Because you are not her doctor, you do not have the right to know anything. You are not her family, you are her ex-husband.'”

“NTA” – justauser34

There were a number of people who understood the father’s frustration over being kept in the dark about his ex-wife’s death.

“NAH I understand your reasons for not letting him know, but I can understand his anger.”

“Messy divorce or not he was still married to her for 22 years and learning of her death was a shock.” – nalonrae

“For God’s sake he spent 22 years with this woman. They grew together and had children together.”

“He did an a**hole thing by cheating on her and leaving her but that doesn’t erase their history together. It seems an AH thing NOT to tell the man that the woman who bore his children DIED until a month later.”

“They weren’t in each other’s lives but they aren’t strangers or acquaintances either!” – badwolfgoddess

“He’s a very recently bereaved ex husband.”

“Regardless of what happened with the relationship they shared intimate, sacred and special things together over those 22 years and other people have decided he’s not allowed to grieve or have a single part of that.”

“He failed as a husband, that doesn’t exclude him from having very human emotions about his ex wife who he had a whole life with for decades.” – NothappyJane

“NAH OP was under no requirement to let their father know about the state of his ex, but I understand him being upset over her death.”

“They were together for a good chunk of their lives and had children together. Dad’s mourning and it’s way fresh for him.” – Aerisaphunk

Some people remained firm that the OP was NTA.

“He lost every right to know anything about the women he had been married to for 22 years and repeatedly cheated on the minute he broke his marriage vows and broke off all contact for 3 years, he made sure he was no longer part of the woman’s family and as such was treated as what he was now a stranger who doesn’t get personal calls letting them know of any health issues no matter what his now apparently guilty conscious is trying to imply should happen.”

“OP is completely NTA and I’m so very sorry for the loss your family has experienced.” – what_is_all_thi

“INFO: How bad did things get? Like how messy was messy?”

“Man 22 years is a hell of a long time. They’ve probably been through everything together and shared their best moments with each other. I feel like he should have at least been informed of the funeral, but that depends.” – Ignorance_Bete_Noire

The OP replied to the above comment:

“Him at the funeral would have made things difficult. People in my mom’s family , including my brother didn’t want him and his wife there.”

Based on Redditors’ split decision between NTA and NAH, not everything is black and white when it comes to grieving over a death in the family.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo