We truly hate to see when there are families on Reddit having problems after the death of a family member. We wish it were a time when families could come together and lend each other the support they all need. But, of course, that is sometimes easier said than done when grief and turmoil take the wheel. Today on the “Am I The A—hole? (AITA?)” subreddit, we came across some family drama surrounding a tragic death — for which the seeds were planted long before the loved one passed.
The man who originally posted (the “OP”) explained that he had been married to his wife Amy for six years and that they had three children together between the ages of 6 and 10. Two years ago, Amy tragically passed away from cancer. She had been told it was terminal 8 months prior.
“I helped care for Amy at home with the help of her family (her mom, four siblings, and even her grandparents) before she died,” OP said. “And her death appeared peaceful. But Amy’s twin Ivy recently discovered that toward the end Amy had been dealing with some crap … courtesy of my parents.”
It’s one of the most horrifying and cruel stories we’ve ever heard, and it forced OP to ask, “AITA for telling my parents they repulse me and informing their friends the reason after learning they had harassed my late wife to write letters to our kids before she died?”
According to Amy’s diary, her in-laws had asked that she write letters to her kids telling them to “promise to have their hearts and minds open to [another mom some day soon]” and to not treat their dad’s next wife as a wife or stepmom, but as a mom.
“They also wanted her to tell the kids to ask me for a new mom within a few months of her death,” OP said. “She was supposed to tell them it was her dying wish and all sorts of crap.”
Amy told her in-laws that she had indeed written letters and recorded videos but that she hadn’t said those things. Because guess who gets to decide what Amy says? Spoiler: Not her in-laws.
Amy decides what Amy says. Amy and only Amy.
“My parents hounded her every second she was alone and they were visiting,” OP continued, “They made her so distressed in the end. According to the diary, my parents told Amy she was a terrible mother and a selfish person for not urging us to move on and find another wife and mom once she was no longer here.”
Is your blood boiling yet? Because we’re fuming over here. WTAF?!
OP was “furious” when he read the pages, especially since — despite his protests — his parents had been urging him to date and “explore the prospect of remarrying.”
“They told me it’s what Amy would have wanted for me,” OP said, much to our (and the internet’s) fury. “They even brought up in the last few months that my kids will grow up without a mom.”
Before we continue, Redditors want to remind these in-laws (and all the busybodies out there) that OP does not need to have any kind of romantic relationship if he doesn’t want to. And if he does want to, it should be on his terms, and his timeline.
“You may NEVER feel a need to [have another] partner and that’s perfectly OK … You need to do what is right for you and your kids.”
“People are allowed to move on whenever they feel like they’re ready. Nothing’s universal.”
“My cousin’s widow took 17 years too. My friend’s husband took only 1 year. Everyone is different. The parents really suck here. Disgusting of them.”
OK, on with the story.
OP texted his parents saying that he knew what happened and that they needed to stay away from him and the kids. Well, they had the audacity to respond saying they did nothing wrong and had no regrets about doing things to make their son and grandkids’ lives better. *Eye roll*
“That pushed me over the edge and I drove to their house to tell them face to face that they repulsed me, to harass a dying woman, to harass my wife, to make her final weeks more stressful than they already were,” OP said. “I told them they were sick.”
What OP didn’t realize when he started was that his parents had friends over and heard the whole thing. Eek! When they came out, he left.
“My parents tried to defend their actions via text saying I should be so hurt and angry at Amy and not them,” he said. And once again we ask, “WTAF?!” Angry at Amy?!
They said he had no right to “humiliate” them in front of friends, and even OP’s siblings agreed he should have kept his mouth shut.
“They said I should understand they were putting me first. I asked them if they thought our parents would have harassed me the same way if I had been in Amy’s place and they couldn’t deny that my parents wouldn’t have.”
So, ladies, gents, and non-binary readers, who has Reddit dubbed the a—hole?
Reddit is wholeheartedly furious at these meddling, manipulative, monstrous in-laws — and had no problem calling them just that.
“The fact that your parents emotionally tortured and abused your dying wife shrieks volumes about their emotional fitness …They felt zero remorse, and then they doubled down and defended their sickening actions … Exposure to these monsters (EVER AGAIN!) would be harmful to your children. And, more to the point, allowing these horrible creatures to see or communicate with your children would basically be rewarding their diabolical behavior. I’m not sure if you honestly believe that there is a path back from this borderline-CRIMINAL situation that your parents perpetrated upon your entire family. Personally, they would be in my rearview mirror FOREVER. They are not, and never will be, safe people.”
“Why would they torture a dying person like this is beyond me. Monstrous is not strong enough to describe this behavior.”
“As if it isn’t bad enough your parents manipulated your dying spouse they then bring your kids into it??? … If it was me I’d take the kids and walk away permanently. What they did is unforgivable in my mind!”
“OP, of course NTA, but if you continue to allow them to spend time with your kids, it sounds like they’ll poison them too.”
“It would be foolish to let them have any contact. They’ll just deliberately make your kids sad about not having a mom next.”
And if you’re wondering why this is the first OP is learning about this and why Amy didn’t speak up? Redditors believe it was a final act of love from his wife.
“Your wife probably didn’t share it because she too loved you. It was something she didn’t want you to carry.”
“This is it. What a beautiful thing she did in trying to hide his parents’ monstrousness from him.”
Unfortunately for these parents, that awfuness is now plain for OP, their friends, and the internet to see. But we’re inclined to agree — that’s what they deserve!