Everyone works through grief in different ways.
Some people lash out. Others draw inward. Some seek company and try to forge relationships. Some eat their feelings.
In the case of one Redditor whose brother passed away, a relationship bloomed between him and his deceased brother’s fiancée years later. The two of them now have a family after weathering a lot of abuse from their family.
Is it time for forgiveness? What does his family have to do to make a truly meaningful apology?
Let’s dig a bit, shall we?
The OP writes:
“This happened 3 yrs after my brother Todd passed away. I (32M) was pretty devastated honestly. My whole family was. At the time I was working in a different state, after those 3 years I moved back home. So everyone knows everyone back home and that’s how me and Mia (who was Todd’s fiancée before he passed) met at a friend’s birthday. We had not seen each other in so long. So we became friends after that”
“And months later we realized we liked each other more than just friends but neither of us told anyone about our relationship. Not until 6 months later when the relationship was serious. Of course my family was against it. My mom especially didn’t want to talk to either of us for a while. Mia got pregnant 7 months after that. Before when it was only us in a relationship everyone just wanted to keep distance. But once they heard she was pregnant all hell broke loose. My sister was the most vicious because she started telling everyone we were sleeping together before my brother passed with how ‘quickly’ we moved on to be together.”
“None of it was true obviously. I never would’ve done something that awful to my own brother. There’s also the fact that we didn’t even live in the same state. It got so ugly. Some in Mia’s family started questioning if it was true, others believed what my family was saying. My mom told me she didn’t have a son anymore for disrespecting my brother’s memory. It was so hurtful for both of us. We decided to move a couple hours away and blocked everyone to start fresh. We are happily married, our son is 3 years old and expecting our second little one.”
“My family now wants to make amends so they can be part of our lives. My mom and sister have apologized so many times on the phone. That they let their grief make them react horribly to the news when they never should have treated me that way. I can get grief making you do things you normally wouldn’t because it happened to me. My wife and I talked it over. We decided that we would only consider if they not only apologized to my wife but made a public announcement online and admit all the lies they made up about our ‘affair.’ My family is refusing because they’re embarrassed an ashamed of what they did and it would be too hard since everyone who’s see it still live around them. My mom says she understands what they put us through but to please not make this any harder on them when we can just make amends now. But I haven’t changed my mind. My dad keeps asking how heartless am I to want to make them humiliate themselves to all the people. He thinks it’s beyond petty since my mom and everyone already learned their lesson and why am I trying to out her through more after losing Todd and she just wants her family back. I’m not sure if it’s really that I’m being too harsh on them for how they acted in their grief or this is a reasonable request after what they did. AITA?”
What do Redditors think?
“They’re only sorry because they’re missing out on a baby. They’re not sorry for their actions or lies”
“Again they are just thinking about themself. Years ago they also just thought how they felt, their grief. Now it is again how they feel, what they want, what it will do to them…They give a sh*t about OP and the wife. They were also grieving the death and that brought them together. The family don’t think about all the damage they did in this hard time. They even needed to move away. Now they want to play happy family but without face the consequences of their sh*tty behaviour. Oh, friends and neighbors could read how bad they behaved?! Then they can feel at least a little bit how OP and his wife felt when they made this sh*tstorm. But no! This clearly shows that they aren’t really sorry and mostly still think they had an affair”
“NTA. Public disrespect = Public Apology Congratulations on your second child”
Says said ShadowCoon:
“NTA. They spent a great deal of time insulting, humiliating and making up lies about you and your wife not just amongst themselves, but in front of other people as well. What they did caused a lot of hurt and damage and while apologizing to you is an important first step, asking them to publicly acknowledge and apologize for the inappropriateness of their behavior is perfectly reasonable. I’ll be perfectly frank: if they were genuinely sorry for what they’d done, there wouldn’t be any level of hesitation on their part in fulfilling your request. You’re not asking them to ‘humiliate themselves’ nor ‘making this harder on them;’ you’re asking them to take real responsibility for their actions in front of all of the people they destroyed your reputation with. If they can’t do that, then things can stay exactly as they are. Do not let them try to talk you out of your request because it is understandable”
Fair point from JadieJang:
What say you?