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Woman won't let widower give late sister's dress to his daughter with new wife.

Woman won't let widower give late sister's dress to his daughter with new wife.


Losing a family member is unfathomably painful.

While nothing can fully dissolve the pain of losing a loved one, keeping their memory alive can soften the sting. This can look like doing an activity that makes you think of them, keeping an old tradition alive, or simply honoring their wishes for when they pass.

In theory, honoring a late family member's wishes wouldn't cause conflict, but reality can be quite different.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not letting her late sister's husband take her sister's dress.

She wrote:

AITA for telling my late sister's husband that his daughter is not getting any of my sister's dresses?

My sister died 17 years ago. She left behind a 4-month-old daughter (now 17) and a 5-year-old son (now 22). My sister was diagnosed with cancer 8 months into her pregnancy and she was aware it was terminal right away.

After my niece was born she asked me if I would keep her dresses (she had a collection of very nice dresses she had accumulated because she worked for a fashion magazine and got discounts and freebies sometimes) and her favorite jewelry for her kids. She said maybe her daughter wouldn't want the clothes but if she did, they would be with me.

She told me she knew her husband loved her. But she knew he would remarry and that lines can be blurred and she really didn't want any of his future children or his future wife laying claim to her possessions. She wanted them for her children. She had a necklace that she knew her son would like one day (and he asked for it when he was 15 and still wears it today). I said of course.

Her husband did remarry. About a year after my sister died he told our family he had gotten another woman pregnant and then a couple of months later announced they were to marry. Things were awkward for a few years. He was still part of our lives but we had not been close when my sister was alive and his wife was holding some hard feelings toward him and us.

Their older daughter is 14 and they have a 9-year-old daughter together as well. The 14-year-old has a school dance coming up and wanted to wear one of my sister's dresses because she saw a photo of my sister wearing one and heard from her dad that I had them. He told me she wanted a dress and wanted me to send it over with my niece for his daughter.

I refused to send it and he responded by asking my nephew. Nephew said his half sister had no business having anything to do with one of his mom's dresses. My niece wasn't angry like my nephew was but she found the idea weird.

My sister's husband told me it wasn't fair to deny the girl the dress because she's not my sister's daughter and that she is part of the family and it shouldn't be a big deal. I told him I didn't feel comfortable giving it and was going to do what my sister wanted.

He suggested she could choose another dress from the collection and I said she was not getting ANY of the dresses. He said I should not be depriving his daughter and she's being treated unfairly. I told him those dresses were nothing to do with her. They are for my sister's children. He called me pathetic. AITA?

ETA: Just a quick edit to say I have likely gotten his other kids ages wrong. The older one is more likely 15 now and I think I might have aged up the younger one. I'm not close to these kids, don't spend time with them or anything really.

But the timeline was about a year after my sister died he told us he had gotten another woman pregnant. The older of his two girls with wife #2 is that child. Second one was born a few years after. They were married a few months into her first pregnancy. Sorry for that confusion.

My niece only recently turned 17 so doing actual math in my head 15 is more likely for the first child with his second wife. Sorry for that confusion!

The internet had a lot of thoughts about this one.

YouSayWotNow wrote:

NTA. Your sister was right that he would get remarried and completely fail to safeguard the items she wanted to pass on to her own daughter. He has proven her right! Stick to your guns and safeguard those items for your sister's daughter.

ForestWoodpecker wrote:

NTA. Your sister gave you very specific instructions on what to do in this situation. This was her wish and her husband should respect it. It's actually amazing how she knew exactly what was going to happen!

CounselorWriter wrote:

NTA. Your sister wanted HER kids to have her items and SPECIFICALLY stated no kids he had later on. His kids with his new wife are not your nieces and have no connection at all to your sister. He just sounds greedy, to be honest.

AncientTransition528 wrote:

NTA. Are people not aware of the term 'boundaries' And why is it always the new wife and her children that just want to vanish or use every single part that belonged to the last wife. Go buy new dresses wth. Nobody is being treated unfairly. You were given a responsibility by the sister you lost. And no one has a right to those dresses except her daughter. It's not that hard to understand this.

Clearly OP is NTA, and her sister's sense of foreshadowing is almost eerily on the nose.

Sources: Reddit
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