Nothing truly prepares us for losing a loved one, no matter what the circumstances. In light of this, it’s hard not to feel some empathy for a woman who became the subject of a viral Reddit AITA thread, who lost her husband and then later alienated her two adult daughters in the wake of their father’s death.
As “Bridget” (user bridgetlongons) explains in January of 2019, her husband was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was given six months to live. Incredibly, her husband lived three months longer than expected but passed that following October.
Bridget writers that her husband remained positive during his final months, and made the decision to write letters to their daughters Mia (21) and Immy (19) to be opened during “significant events in their lives.” Neither girl had been aware of these letters, and it had been Bridget’s job to pass them on to her daughters.
She adds that her husband was her soulmate, having been together since they were kids (and were approaching our 20th wedding anniversary when he passed) and that both she and her daughters were lost without him. However, she conceded that she and her daughters had become closer since their father’s death.
That was until February when Mia got married to her longtime boyfriend, who Bridget says had been incredibly supportive to their family through their grieving. Naturally, her husband had written Mia a letter to be opened on her wedding day.
You can probably already see where this is heading, but we will allow Bridget to explain for herself.
Her wedding day comes around and I just can’t bring myself to give her the letter. I read it and just wanted to keep it to myself. I had his handwriting and his words and it felt like he was there, and I couldn’t bear the thought of giving that up yet. I was fully intending on giving her all the other letters as the events happened.
Last week Mia and her husband bought their first home together. They’d been living at our home since they got married, and so had a lot of stuff to pack and move to their new house. Mia asked me where her important documents were—passport, birth certificate, etc.—so I told her they were in the top drawer of my dresser in my bedroom. The only letter that was in there was the one I was meant to give her on her wedding day, and the rest were hidden away.
She immediately recognized his handwriting and of course, it was addressed to her, so she read it and broke down. She came and found me and started screaming at me asking how I could be so selfish. I didn’t really know what to say apart from the fact that I wanted to keep it and she could take a picture of it. Both my daughters called me an asshole and are convinced I’m keeping them from a load of their dads stuff. AITA?
We were with Bridget until the point when—even after she was found out—she still refused to hand over the letter and invited her daughter to take a picture of it? Oh honey, no.
Suffice to say, Reddit users came to the conclusion that Bridget was indeed the asshole.
“She’s right, you are selfish, and a thief,” wrote one user who had the top-voted comment. “That wasn’t yours to keep.”
“My dad died when I was 17,” they continued. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to marry a man my dad never got to meet? To walk down the aisle without him? My wedding day was supposed to be one of my best memories and instead, it was just so hard. A letter would have meant the world to me.”
“What you did was rotten,” they added. “And the fact that you still haven’t realized that speaks volumes. This wasn’t only your loss. Do you not realize that?”
Ouch. Harsh words, but maybe something Bridget needs to hear if she ever wants to repair her relationship with her girls. Therapy certainly couldn’t hurt, either.
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