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Mom tells grown kids, 'You want your dead father's stuff, BUY it at my yard's sale! AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.

Mom tells grown kids, 'You want your dead father's stuff, BUY it at my yard's sale! AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.


When this mom is upset with her kids and forces them to get their late father's stuff at a weird yard sale, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for telling my kids if they wants their late fathers stuff than they can buy it at the yard sale?"

I don’t know if I am being a d&&& or not. My husband passed away a two years ago, he had cancer and decided to not fight it. I have a lot o resentment surrouding the way my husband let himself die. He passed away and it has been rough for all my kids. They are all adults, the oldest is 31 and the youngest is 25.

I still live in the home my husband and I shared. I have been slowly getting rid of things and I have asked the kids multiple time that if they want something that need to get it. Nothing, every time they never take anything.

I’ve decided to have a yard sale and what doesn’t sell their I will start putting on Facebook marketplace and other platforms. I’m tired of looking at all my dead husband’s stuff day in and day out. It’s depressing, it’s like living with a ghost.

I went over my sons to print out some flyers since my printer wasn’t working. This is when I informed him I am selling as much as possible.

He got upset for selling dads stuff. The rest of the kids were informed and they are upset as well. I told them if they want some of his stuff then buy it at the yard sale, they had two years to grab stuff. One called me a dick and I doubting myself on this.

Edit: I don’t care about the money, they could give me a penny. What I care about is that they are serious about taking it and it doesn’t come pack to my home. I don’t want them to take boxes and then a few month later it’s back at my home.

Before we give you OP's emotional update about the situation, let's take a look at some of the top responses. Many readers shared their personal experiences with similar situations:

profeshsanity writes:

NTA. I understand. Mom passed 8 years ago and I had to clean out her house. She lived kitty-corner behind my brother. I told him and all the grandchildren (7) to take whatever they wanted and I was going to get a dumpster for the rest.

I waited 9 weeks and gave them a reminder every week. 9 weeks later the dumpster arrived and we started cleaning the house out. The up roar was bad. I told them they had their chance and I was tired of paying the utilities.

The house needed to be cleaned out so it can be sold. Some of them came by and dragged things out of the dumpster.

bushknowledge writes:

NAH. As others have pointed out, you are processing your grief differently than your children are and emotions are still raw.

Not quite the same, but several years ago, my husband and I purchased my childhood home from my parents. A lot of stuff was left in the basement that we all planned on going through together (because a lot of it was stuff from my sisters and me too)...

but then my sister got cancer, then my dad got his third cancer, then my dad passed away, and suddenly it was five years later and half of our basement was crammed with other people’s stuff. 2 of my sisters live out of state so I was kind of on my own.

I tried sending pictures of things to my mom and asking if she wanted it, but in her grief she couldn’t make those decisions. She would ask me to wait until she could come look, or tell me she needed to ask some other family members if they wanted it.

Finally I had to stop asking. I went through the boxes and bags, tossed and donated what I determined was obvious. If there was something I knew I needed to ask about first I would tell her, “I found this. If you think you might want it, I will bring it to you this week.

The donation truck is coming on this date, let me know before then.” That seemed to work. If she wasn’t sure, I still gave it to her and then she could make the decision in her own space and time. But it also made it clear that I was no longer hanging on to it.

If that doesn’t work for you, could you and your kids box up some stuff out of sight and give it more time? Again, living in my childhood home there are memories of my dad everywhere, especially as he was a DIYer.

The first couple years after he died, I had a hard time changing anything that he built for the house, even if it wasn’t working for us. But the more time that passes, the more I am able to let go of.

If you really can’t look at it anymore but your kids really can’t let it go, packing it away might be a temporary solution— your kids might be able to let go in another year or two, or you might not have the same feelings associated.

whatthefunko writes:

NTA. Sorry for your loss. I’m 60M. My Father passed away unexpectedly two years ago. My Step Mother was left alone in her house with my Fathers items.

She decided to have a yard sell due to not needing/wanting some of his things anymore. I even traveled to their home and helped her with the prep and actual yard sale.

Although I saw some “childhood memories” sold to complete strangers I fully understood the significance of letting things go. Also, losing a partner can put a financial strain on the remaining spouse.

Less monthly income coming in. So she could use the extra money from the sale. I too paid her for some of my Father’s things.

No one likes losing a loved one. And to have constant reminders lying around can make the healing process more difficult.

Lastly, when my Mother passed away we happily donated a bunch of her stuff to a local shelter. That way others could benefit from our loss. Once again, sorry for your loss. Although it’s been 2 years, I know the situation doesn’t make things great.

prestitgiuosscars writes:

YTA for expecting money. You say it's not about the money, so then tell them to come get it before the yard sale. Don't tell them to pay for it.

My dad died two and a half years ago. I've barely been able to start looking at his stuff despite that it's in the same house as me. Not everyone is ready to move on at the same time. Everyone is on their own grief journey. Just because you are ready doesn't mean your kids are.

That doesn't mean you personally need to live with these items in your home, but it doesn't mean you sell it all either. Maybe the kids can split the cost of a storage unit if they're not ready to go through his things.

biron88 writes:

YTA. You are handling this the wrong way, and it WILL cost you your relationship with your kids.

This happened to my mother. Her mom was killed by a drunk driver when my mom was a young woman, just entering adulthood. Her dad, my grandfather, remarried after a short while, a widow with children.

He couldn't bring himself to go through any of his deceased wife's belongings, and wouldn't allow anyone else to get rid of them.

That woman, the quintessential evil stepmother, went through my grandmother's things, right down to her underwear, and chose what she wanted to keep and what she didn't without any input from anyone else. She never even offered my mother and her brothers a single thing of their mother's.

Everything she didn't want went into a yard sale. She informed my mother and her brothers that if they wanted something of their mother's, they'd better show up early and bring cash.

My mother and uncles never forgot that, and never forgave her for it. It was an evil thing to do. They despised that woman until the day she died.

If you get rid of your deceased husband's belongings in this manner, your children will resent you for it for the rest of your life. I know you're tired of them dragging their feet. But this is not the way to do it.

Did it ever occur to you that they haven't been able to bring themselves to go through his things yet? It's only been two years since their father died!

The kind thing to do would be to put the belongings in a storage unit and tell them they are responsible for paying for it, and that they can continue to pay for that storage unit until they feel ready to tackle the emotional task of sorting through their deceased father's belongings.

skleco writes:

NTA. With the caveat that trauma does weird things to people, and people are weird about not claiming a deceased parent's things right away. Maybe just tell the they can have what they want, but they have to come and get it before someone buys it at the yard sale. It might turn out they didn't want anything after all.

When my dad died, he didn't have many possessions, but his girlfriend boxed them all up and I picked them up from her. I grabbed a few things, and asked my siblings if there was anything they wanted, and they either said no, or were noncommittal.

I left what was left with an aunt, and she and I agreed that she would hole it for a month, and donate it if the other kids didn't speak up. It all got donated.

Conversely, when my FIL had to be placed in a care home/hospice, my MIL began getting rid of his things right away, well before he passed.

My wife and her brother were so traumatized and angry, that they couldn't participate in the process, so I had to step in and slow my MIL law down and help her at least sort through the items.

She still wound up giving/throwing away things that had great sentimental value to my wife, and it's caused a serious rift between them.

Then, OP provides this major update about the situation:

They have the date, the yardsale. It’s in their corner. If they care they will contact me before hand or show up. They are adults. I’m done with this game, I literally begged them before to get shit. They want a shrine. They need to be serious about it, I dot trust them to take a whole bunch of shit and then not dumb it back on me.

I doubt they will even show up to the yardsale since they clearly haven’t cared enough to get anything for 2 years. I know what the issue is, I am living in a shrine. I am surrounded constantly by his death. I left for a week simple road trip and I never wanted to come back.

It’s like living in a graveyard. I know the issue, the kid get to visit the shrine I have to live in it. It’s hell. I need to not to live in a shrine.

I’m going to have them buy it. I worry if I don’t it will be taking boxes and then those boxes show up back at my place.

Even if it’s a dollar at least I know they are serious enough to pay for it. I’m so tired of living with a ghost, he’s everywhere. Our shared stuff is fine all his personal stuff is sitting waiting for him to come back but he is not coming back. His fishing pole will never be picked up by him again, the ghost is everywhere.

So, is OP TA here? Or did she take things too far by snubbing her kids this way? What would YOU have done in this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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