One of the most profoundly life-altering events a person experiences is losing a parent — but for some, that loss takes place long before death. For example, one teen’s father recently died, but he felt the absence of his parent years before when he and his mother were abandoned. Now that his father is gone from this world, the teen is being pressured to attend his funeral for a weird reason — and Reddit is encouraging the young man to maintain his boundaries.
The 17-year-old consulted with Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” forum to determine whether or not he’s being a jerk for refusing to go to his father’s memorial service. He explained that his entire family, including his mom, vehemently disagrees with his stance and he doesn’t understand why given his history — or lack of — with his father.
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“[T]he fact is I don’t know him,” the teen wrote. “When I was a baby my mom and my father got a divorce as he had cheated on her multiple times and he wanted a divorce, he fought for 50/50 custody in court and lost. Since then throughout my life, I’ve only ever met him once when I was 12. He was NEVER part of my life,” he revealed.
The teenager continued to explain that his relationship with his father was nothing more than consistent child support payments, an annual birthday and Christmas gift, and health insurance through his father’s lifelong military career. He added, “However, he never would visit me, hell he wouldn’t even talk to me on the phone for the past 5 years. He had his wife (a woman he cheated on my mom with and started a family with) be the way he would reach out to me to ask what I wanted for bdays and Christmas gifts.”
So, given the limited information provided, this kid’s dad abandoned him as a baby, avoided him until he was 12, met him once after being absent for the first decade-plus of his life, and then resumed avoiding him after that one and only meeting? Yeah, we don’t blame the teen for having no desire to make an appearance at his father’s funeral — which he mentions is a cross-country trip from his home state of California to his father’s former state of residence, North Carolina.
A Reddit user seeks advice and vents about her mom's aspiration to become the next viral family. https://t.co/2vtwFEk1Rl
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) September 18, 2023
The 17-year-old wrote, “In short, I had NO relationship with this man. However, a couple of weeks ago he got into a fatal car accident. I’m now expected to attend his funeral.” The teen shared his mom’s opinion, revealing she “thinks I’m being an a**hole and that I will regret this later.” He added, “She thinks I’m disrespecting his memory and service to the country. That even though he wasn’t in my life he deserves respect for serving and fighting for this country, and that I should attend his funeral.” Standing his ground, the teen concluded, “However, I do not respect him nor do I love him. I do not want to attend his funeral. AITA?”
“Service to country is not a cheat code to be an a**hole and get away with it,” one person replied to the original poster (OP). They added, “You didn’t create the situation, he did.” Another user agreed, commenting, “His military service had nothing to do with his relationship with OP. What nonsense.”
Reddit users can't quite agree on whether this mom should be giving her teen alcohol. https://t.co/FffIbFj4St
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) November 6, 2023
“If it means so much to your mum you could go for her sake not for his or yours,” a Redditor suggested, to which the teen responded, “I know my mom wants to go, but I just don’t know if I want to face all of my ‘relatives’ that I’ve never met. Including my half-sisters and grandparents. It just seems so pointless. I don’t consider them family.” That’s definitely a whole other layer to this situation… Literally the entire paternal side of his family is estranged from him, and that’s on them — especially the teen’s grandparents.
Another user questioned, “And why is the mum so eager to go? The deceased cheated on her, abandoned her child all but financially.” They continued, “It feels bizarre her wanting to go so much, especially as it doesn’t sound like she was close to her ex-in-laws or OP would know them. … He didn’t act like a father in life, so OP isn’t going to mourn his loss like the loss of a dad.”
One mom took to Reddit to ask if she was in the wrong for giving her adult daughter money to make up for missed senior milestones. https://t.co/aTkf1wBt52
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) November 9, 2023
The reality is that OP’s father was nothing more than a stranger tied to him through genetics. They had a shell of a relationship for all 17 years of the teen’s life, and now he’s expected to performatively attend his father’s service because of genetics and a military career? And his mom, who was wronged by this man and watched him continue to wrong their son for nearly two whole decades, is pushing for her son to go? It’s a completely ridiculous expectation. We completely agree with Reddit: The teen doesn’t owe his late father anything, military service or not.
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.
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