The death of a loved one always brings about complicated emotions. Of course, there is sadness. Other emotions, however, can include relief if they were suffering and smiles from looking back over their life. That being said, other complexities are those of family relations and who does and doesn’t show up to the funeral. When his grandfather died, this young man denied his grandfather’s sons from his first marriage entry into his funeral. He stated his reasons, however, he took to Reddit to find out if they were just. (1)
Man Asks Reddit If He Was Right In Denying Estranged Family Members Entry To His Grandfather’s Funeral
When the original poster’s (OP) grandfather passed at the age of 97, there were naturally many friends and family members who wanted to pay their respects. Two of these family members were his grandfather’s twin sons from his first marriage. Shortly after the divorce when the twins were 18, they cut off all contact with their father. When they showed up at his funeral, OP, his 19-year-old grandson from his second marriage, denied them entry.
“Steven and Shawn cut off permanent contact with my grandfather. He always made attempts to contact them, but the twins always rejected him,” OP explained. “The twins treated my grandmother horrible, and their absence tortured my grandfather all his life. My grandmother also resents herself terribly, since she thinks she is the reason why the twins went no contact with grandpa. I know that if my grandma went to see the twins, she would be absolutely devastated.”
The Twins Were Not Happy
Firstly, OP explained that he volunteered to act as “door security” since the funeral home didn’t provide it, which is why he was there to stop the twins at the door in the first place. When they showed up, they arrived with their entire families – wives, children, and grandchildren. OP and his family know one of these people other than the twins.
The twins said that they were there because they wanted to “make amends” with their father after all of the years that had gone by. OP didn’t think they deserved that opportunity, especially when they hadn’t spoken to their father in half a century and given how horrible they were to his grandmother. He did, however, understand that deaths can bring about many feelings, including grief and remorse.
“I offered to call them when my grandma left the place so they could pay their respects, but they refused. I also told them that if they could wait a few hours until most of the people left, I would let them come in, but they refused anyway, they wanted to go inside now. In the end, they ended up leaving the place incredibly angry and super mad at me since I wouldn’t budge.”
An Ongoing Problem
The families left, but that wasn’t the end. The children and grandchildren found OP on social media. They continue to send him messages telling him that he denied the twins their right to “make up for their mistake” and to say goodbye to “the person that they loved the most”.
OP’s family supports him in his decision to protect his grandmother, who was already incredibly distraught, from further harm. He was conflicted, however, because the messages from these other people were really affecting him. He says he now feels poorly because he denied the twins their opportunity to say goodbye to their father.
The people of Reddit had some strong opinions that overwhelmingly sided with OP. They all agreed that the two men had 50 years to make amends with their father. They did not have a “right” to do so now when he was no longer alive. Especially when their presence would upset OPs 90-year-old grandmother who was already so upset.
“As much as they have some “right” to pay their respect to their father, say goodbye, etc, YOU OFFERED IT TO THEM. You didn’t offer it to them on their terms, but we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” said one commenter. “You don’t sound like you were being spiteful or vindictive or anything, you were being protective of your elderly and distraught grandmother while also, somehow, remaining respectful to these people who you don’t really have any reason to respect. Sounds like you handled this like a champ.”
“They had 50 years to “make up for their mistake”. His funeral is not the place to assuage their guilt. Maybe they should have tried while he was still alive and not insist on crapping all over his close family to do so.” said another.
The majority praised him for protecting his grandmother.
There were many people who questioned the brothers’ intentions. They had decades to make things right with their father. Why did they wait until after his death? Moreover, why did they not accept OP’s terms, if saying goodbye was what they really wanted?
“If paying their “respects” were actually the motivation, they would have accepted coming back later. They wanted to actually impact the funeral.” said one commenter.
“Does anyone else think that the reason they wanted to go in right then was because they wanted to say or do something to ops grandmother and not to say goodbye to their father one last time. It’s suspicious that they wanted to go in right then even when they knew that ops grandmother was inside a woman who they couldn’t stand. Either that was the reason or to make them seem like good people in the eyes of everyone in their life. They also could be trying to see if there was a will and if they got anything in it.” suggested another.
The Bottom Line
Reddit users agree and say that the OP’s grandfather’s other family was likely not there with good intentions. If they genuinely were there just to say goodbye to their father, then they are sorry to say that they are a little too late. Let us all take this as a reminder that if we are estranged from important people in our lives, don’t wait to make it up: Do it now, while you are both still around. You never know when yours or their time could be up, so don’t leave things with regrets.
- “AITA for not allowing my grandfather’s first family to enter his funeral?” Reddit