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'AITA for spending my late son's university fund on a trip to Europe instead of giving it to his stepbrother?' UPDATED

'AITA for spending my late son's university fund on a trip to Europe instead of giving it to his stepbrother?' UPDATED


There's no one-size-fits-all way to deal with grief, and even if there was, it still wouldn't apply to everyone.

"AITA for spending my son's university fund on a trip to Europe to drink beer like I always threatened instead of giving it to his step brother after he passed away."

My son was smart. Smarter than me. I almost requested a paternity test because he was so damn intelligent. THAT IS A JOKE. My ex and I divorced when he was about 12. She remarried when he was 14. I did when he was 16. I had an RESP set up for him. That's an education fund in Canada.

As long as he went for post secondary education he could use the money for anything. I always told him that I was okay with him not going to university. That way I could use the money I had saved up for him to go to Belgium and buy some beer from monks that only allow you to buy one case. He knew I was joking and he always played along. He wouldn't let me get his goat.

When he got accepted to McGill it was the proudest moment of my life. I took him out for a beer to celebrate his achievement and mourn the loss of my trip to Europe. My son was struck and killed by a dr*nk driver in March. I'm dealing with it. My ex is dealing with it. My wife has been nothing but my rock in this. She is holding me up.

I was dealing with the funeral arrangements and everything when my ex came to talk to me about his money. She knew he had a scholarship and was just going to use the money for living expenses and an emergency fund. She asked me what I was going to do with it.

I said I was going to do what I always said I would. I was going to Europe to drink beer. She asked if she could have it for her step son. I thought about it and said no. Her husband is a decent enough person but he made it clear that he wasn't responsible for any expenses for my son. Beyond food and shelter and stuff obviously. Like I said he is decent.

I said I was not going to do that. I was going to go drink beer in my son's honour. She says I'm wasting thousands of dollars. And I guess I am. I have to give back the government portion of the fund. But I don't care. My ex thinks I'm being stupid and irresponsible wasting my son's money like this. I don't care. My son would laugh his **s off if he knew I actually did it.

The internet had OP's back.

No_Lavishness_3206 wrote:

NTA. Sorry for your loss. I thought it was a clickbait title but this is a sad fu#$king post. I hope you enjoy your trip and pour out some for your homie. It sounds like you guys had a good relationship.

OP responded:

Thank you.

mylittlewedding wrote:

From someone who lost her 15 yr old sister to a car accident this really tore me up way more than I thought it would. She was k*lled a month after her 15th birthday & had just been accepted to a private high school with a full ride scholarship she had been trying for. The acceptance letter sat on her vanity in her room for years after.

You are NTA if anything far from it…. he ex wife even asking is a huge one. Please go to Europe & celebrate his life! It’s the only thing that should be done with that money. If you have a Venmo/cashapp etc I would love to also buy you a beer. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

OP responded:

Thanks for the offer. I'm going to update when I'm there. I would appreciate it if you had one with me instead.

Famous_Specialist_44 wrote:

My condolences.

Your ex can ask for the money but she shouldn't expect you to say yes. NTA

Westvleeren gold cap is particularly worth travelling for.

OP responded:

That's the stuff I want. It is by lottery so I probably will only try it at the visitors centre.

malngallisaracist wrote:

NTA. You're not wasting your money; you are celebrating your son's life and mourning your loss at the same time.

I'm sorry for your loss and I hope the trip is healing for you. Raise a glass to your son for all the internet strangers who are thinking of you.

N0rmann12 wrote:

NTA and have fun going to Belgium and picking up your case of Westvleteren.

OP responded:

I didn't realize that many people knew about it.

brain124 wrote:

NTA but Jesus Christ, I am so sorry.

Can you tell us more about your son? Share your favorite story about him, what he wanted to do for a job, your favorite activity together.

OP responded:

My son wanted study microbiology and immunology. He has thrown for a loop by the pandemic and he wanted to make sure it didn't happen again. He talked about a lot of stuff that went over my head. I'm a baker. I understand yeast. He loved the Habs. I would get us tickets at least once a year. He loved kayaking with me. We are so close to so much water.

MrsChickenPam wrote:

NTA. I'm sooooo sorry for your loss. You have no obligation to support your ex-wife's new husband's child, it's appalling they even asked. You do what YOU think is best and what would give your son joy. Sounds like you already figured out exactly what that is. Enjoy your trip and toast many a beer to your amazing son.

Competitive_Jump_744 wrote:

Alright, two things to say.

I'm SO SORRY for the loss of your son. That HAS to be hard for you.

NTA. You do what you think your son would enjoy. If you think that going to Europe and having a beer would make him happy, then by golly, go ahead and do it. I hope you do well for yourself.

AliceinWeirdoland wrote:

INFO: Did your ex contribute to the fund as well? Because if so, I do think you should reimburse her for her contributions. If not, then go with God and I'm sorry for your loss.

OP responded:

She did not. I make a lot more money than her and it was part of our budget that I handled.

Roughly a week later, OP shared an update.

Hi everyone. We are on our way to the airport and on our way to Barcelona. We will be going to be in Europe for a month. The visit to the monks at Westvleteren will be the last part of our trip. Two reasons. I don't want to lug beer bottles all over Spain, France, Belgium and Holland. Also I am putting it off for as long as I can.

For those of you that asked my son's name is Ryan. He was an amazing kid. I don't know if he got his love of the microscopic world from me. I did teach him how to make his own sourdough starter and I will be keeping his alive to make loaves and waffles with. His ashes are in our yard, on Mount Tremblant, on the shores of the St. Lawrence and I will be taking some to Belgium.

My grandfathers have many friends buried there and I think they would approve. I thank everyone that offered to buy me a beer. And while I appreciate the offer I'm pretty sure my liver, and my wife, would not have been happy with me. I will be with the monks on the week of June 23rd. If you would like to join me in a toast with your favorite drink of choice I would love that more.

I love knowing that people all around the world know about my son and he would love knowing he was toasted in such a manner. I spoke with my wife, my ex wife, her husband, and his son. I invited them to join us, at my expense, for the last week of my trip. My wife's stepson was friends with my son. I didn't know how close until we spoke.

They are gaming buddies. They spoke almost every day playing online. He gave me a picture of my son I did not have. It is a picture of the two of them age about 14/15 at my ex wife's wedding to his father. My son looked great in his suit. I cried. He did too. We had a very awkward but heartfelt man hug. Then we laughed. They will be coming to say goodbye with us.

After talking to my accountant and my lawyer I was told that I could not have transferred him the value of the RESP. I have decided, after talking to my wife, that we are going to give him enough money to cover one year of tuition. Even after my trip we will have money left over. I'm trying to do some good with it. I also said that he could call us any time he needed since he will be attending school close to us.

So funny he got accepted here and my son was accepted there. I want to thank everyone who shared their condolences with me. I want to especially thank everyone that helped me plan my visit to Belgium. I know we won't see each other but you were invaluable. I don't think I will have much to say after this. Maybe I will post an update after the trip.

The internet was happy to hear the update.

snausagefest wrote:

I love updates like this. Too many people here get wrapped up in this ultimate moral right. Recognizing you're not the AH, but you are in a position to help others and choosing to do so is a lovely way to be and something we should all aspire to.

svkatt wrote:

What a lovely update!! I will put a reminder to have an adult beverage in honor of Ryan the week of June 23rd.

Successful_Bee_3009 wrote:

I love when good people have nice updates.

So so sorry for your loss. Ryan sounds like he was a wonderful kid, I'll be cheers-ing to him in June too.

seanymphcalypso wrote:

This is a beautiful update! While I won’t be able to join you in Belgium, I have added a Toast to Ryan! to my calendar and I’ll be raising a glass to him, and all of your family, from the Midwest. Cheers!

Sparky1498 wrote:

23rd June a toast will be raised to Ryan here in The UK- I will also be remembering my dad that day who has been gone 24 years - he traveled to Belgium regularly for work for many years so loved Antwerp in particular along with the country as a whole ❤️

Sounds like you and Ryan had an amazing relationship and I was really pleased to see your update - sometimes a post hits you in the feels so hearing that your intentions were understood and you learnt that Ryan had a friend in your wife’s stepson was a bonus - he obviously meant a lot to everyone he crossed paths with and memories of him will live on in those that knew him.

Glad you are taking the trip to honour him and whilst there will be plenty of heartache I hope you manage to laugh along the way and remember the good times you shared.

Sources: Reddit
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