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AITA for asking my grieving brother to leave my daughter's birthday party?'

AITA for asking my grieving brother to leave my daughter's birthday party?'

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"AITA for asking my grieving brother to leave my daughter's birthday party?"

throwawayFar-Toe7787

Last week marked the anniversary of my brother's wife passing, coincidentally on the same day my daughter was born. My wife and I have been planning her first birthday party for weeks, and the entire family was looking forward to it, especially given that she's the first grandchild and niece.

Understanding the significance of the day for my brother, I checked in with him beforehand. He mentioned not planning anything special to honor his late wife, expressing concern about "stealing the spotlight" from my daughter's celebration. I reassured him that it was important for him to commemorate his own feelings on this significant day. He chose not to, and attended my daughter’s party instead.

Fast forward to the day of the party. The family is busy setting up, and my brother starts silently crying, the intensity of which seems to increase progressively. When my sister asked him what was wrong, he shared that seeing everyone celebrate on a day that held personal sadness for him was difficult. We all tried our best to comfort him.

As the party went on, my brother's mood didn’t change. Multiple times, he managed to bring up his late wife’s passing to my friends, detailing the heartbreak of losing her on the same day. Also sharing the details of her passing. While the kids were playing, and everyone else was having a good time, my brother seemed stuck in his grief, casting a shadow over the celebration.

Frustrated and feeling the party's mood being dampened, I approached him and told him to leave if he couldn't be positive and enjoy the moment. He left, upset. After the party my mom confronted me, saying it was cruel to ask him to leave.

According to her, I’m the ahole because he wasn't bothering anyone and was just grieving. I feel as though he was being negative the entire time and making the party about him, but after what my mother said I kind of feel terrible about asking him to leave. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:

Jones-bones-boots

YTA…your approach was awful. You could have taken one that showed you cared about him and not just something your child won’t remember anyway.

“Hey look. I knew this day would be hard on you and why I mentioned staying at home. This clearly is not a good place for you right now with everyone celebrating and since we have a lot of good people here that puts them in a position of wanting to celebrate while rightfully feeling bad for you.

So why don’t you head home and everyone will understand? I will call you later and maybe later we can grab a beer and talk about how hard this is on you.”

Shibaspots

This would have been great. Just showing some compassion for his loss and grief.

Deathsworn_VOA

YTA because you could have definitely handled that in a more tactful way. Shit gets complicated, and he probably thought (and wrongly) that maybe your daughter's party would have been a helpful distraction. Or maybe he just couldn't bear the idea of being alone that day and made the best bad choice. We don't really know.

Either way, instead of telling him to go, you could have told him it was okay for him to leave; he didn't have to stay if he didn't want to. You could have invited him to make use of a private room to have a moment. You could have sent one of the relatives to take him aside and sort him out. There's a dozen ways you could have done it without kicking him out.

jowowoker

Uh yeah, YTA. I get it. you wanted a day to celebrate your daughter and it's really sad his wife passed on the same day. You sounded so understanding at first too. He's going through a lot... of course he's going to be grieving. You're NTA for feeling conflicting feelings about seeing him so down, but YTA for telling him to leave. For all you know, this might've been good for him.

Idk how long his wife has been gone for, but not everyone deals with grief the same. As his brother you should try and support him. It sounds like you did good at first, you even gave him the opportunity to commemorate her. But telling him to leave in such a fragile state?? that's beyond cruel.

mwmandorla

This is the kid's first birthday, so it's only been a year. Brother hasn't even experienced this anniversary before.

Available_Doctor_974

I am sure your making him leave and the ensuing loneliness after will comfort him in his wife's passing. You definitely don't want something like that "dampening the mood". YTA.

judgingA-holes

YTA - He's grieving and he needed to be around family, not off by himself. It was nice that you asked him beforehand but IDK if you really got what he was saying:

"He mentioned not planning anything special to honor his late wife, expressing concern about 'stealing the spotlight' from my daughter's celebration. I reassured him that it was important for him to commemorate his own feelings on this significant day. He chose not to, and attended my daughter’s party instead."

I take this as he wanted to plan something special to honor her... with the family, but was afraid of stealing the birthday girl's spotlight. You then said that it's important that he do something for him and his feelings, but in no way said it wouldn't take from the bday girl, or that you guys would be there to honor something for his late wife, or offered any suggestion on how the family could do both.

So he was kinda forced to choose be alone (and I'm sure he's already feeling lonely enough), or to suck it up and be happy with the family at the birthday party. He may have thought that being at the party would be a distraction and he would be around family and friends so he could power through.

Obviously he couldn't. You could have been empathetic of his situation but instead you went to him and told him to leave because the death of his wife was making him a debbie downer.

So, do you think the OP was fully in the wrong here or should they have been allowed to give their daughter a wonderful first birthday? What should they have done differently?

Sources: Reddit
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