Mourning the loss of a loved one is painful and confusing. Family members must adapt to a new reality defined by the deceased person's absence.
That task alone is difficult enough. And yet it is frequently made more complicated by the logistical concerns that follow death.
For one Redditor, known as Aita3409731 on the site, navigating it all felt too daunting to handle on his own. He sought feedback with a post on the "Am I the A**hole (AITA)" subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP) gave the long and short of it with the post's title:
"Aita: For giving my deceased son's college fund to his best friend instead of my nephew?"
OP began the post with some background.
"This has been causing a conflict with my entire family. And they think that I'm being selfish and unreasonable. Let me explain first."
"I [39-year-old male] lost my son in 2019 due to a chronic heart condition. He was 15 years old. It was devastating and I just couldn't take it especially when my family did little to nothing to support me during these difficult times."
"They didn't bring my son meals when he was at the hospital. They didn't let me go home and rest even for a few hours. They didn't take care of other things while I had a lot to deal with I wasn't offered any help just words."
"They'd just talk but do nothing."
But all the while, OP was taking things into his own hands.
"Despite the struggle. I've created an account for my son's college fund and kept putting whatever I could get at the time and me and my son would talk about that a lot."
"He was depressed but always believed that he was going to get better and continue his education and attend college."
"I started saving money to keep him motivated and to make him feel like he could be like any other kid with hopes for a good future."
OP then highlighted one supportive figure who did not go unnoticed.
"He had a very close friend that's about the same age as him."
"They were friends for 5 years, and I can't express how his presence in my son's life helped him through the worst days, sometimes his friend would spend the night with us and try to get my son to do activities and lighten up his mood all the time."
"To be frank his friend was closer to him than his own family."
"He never stopped visiting and asking how I'm doing after my son's death. He'd show me handmade projects he made for my son and as a way to remember him and we'd sometimes just sit and talk together or cry together."
Regarding the next steps following his son's death, OP recently faced a pointed question.
"Last week. While I was with my family my sister asked me what I was going to do with my son's college money."
"I didn't wanna mention this but since she asked I told her that I will be giving the money to my son's friend. She barely even recognized his friend and was confused and said that my nephew deserves this money since he's family."
"My mom agreed that I wasn't thinking straight and that I should help the people close to me-family and that my nephew has a right to go to college and I was wrong for giving this 'opportunity' away to someone else."
The confrontation only grew more difficult for OP as time went on.
"I didn't know what to say they kept pointing out that I was making a mistake and how my nephew will resent me if he finds out. Thing is my nephew wasn't close to my son I don't even know why he'd be bothered."
"My sister went on about not being able to afford my nephew's college I told her this was my decision and I felt more comfortable that way."
"She started lashing out, constantly texting me constantly wanting to talk to me and ending up arguing. When I snapped she had my mom calling me basically guilt-tripping me and telling me I'm wrong and that I needed to think about this."
"It's just too much pressure and I'm feeling lost and unable to figure out how to deal with this."
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
An overwhelming majority of Redditors threw their full support behind OP's decision. The "NTA" acronym was seen far and wide.
"Nta!!!!! So much not the nta!! Please do as planned and use the money on your sons awesome friend. I am very sorry for your loss and for having a shi**y family!" -- rakete100
"NTA. Ask her what her plan was for her son's college if yours hadn't died, and then tell her to do that. You aren't obligated to do anything whatsoever with that money that you don't want to do." -- WhoFearsDeath
"NTA- I think that this is such a sweet way to honor your son. Don't let them guilt trip you. Family sometimes is more than just blood. It's about the relationship." -- elladee000
"First, I'm so sorry for your loss."
"Finally, NTA." -- MrsJ88
Others provided the reasoning behind their outrage.
"Why help someone when they didn't help you? NTA." -- cthulhu_stan
"NTA. I'm struggling to see why your sister thought it was any of her business to ask what you were doing with the college money."
"It's your money and you can do whatever you want with it. And yes, your reasons for giving it to your son's friend are sound - he genuinely sounds like he deserves it." -- mandytjie
"NTA. Next time your sister wants to talk about being resentful over you not helping out her son, be sure to remind her how resentful you are that she offered f*** all help with yours when you needed it. The absolute gall."
"Your sons friend was his family, and has continued to be so." -- pvke
And some Redditors took a moment to bluntly slam OP's family members.
"NTA. How dare they. I have no idea how they could ever feel entitled to this money. Do not back down and use the money how you want." -- jaidenlm
"Nta, that family is a pile of golddiggers from what you're saying, you give the money to who you feel it belongs to, after all it was your son" -- Kawaiicrocodile
"NTA. your family is being a bunch of selfish jerks. It's your money." -- zippy_zaboo
So if the Reddit feedback has any bearing on OP's real life decision-making, his son's friends can expect a little extra help when college time rolls around.