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Mom asks if she's wrong to deny daughter her deceased sister's bridal gown.

Mom asks if she's wrong to deny daughter her deceased sister's bridal gown.


Weddings are more than just hard to plan: they're incredibly emotional. Especially for one mother who planned on having two weddings for her daughters... but will only have one.

A tragedy left a family devestated, and everyone is healing in their own way. But when a mother was faced with a difficult choice, she stood firm. This lead to a dispute, so she (u/amitheasshole46) took to Reddit to ask:

AITA (Am I the as*hole) for not letting my elder daughter have my younger's wedding dress?

Names have been changed, I'm 55 and Amelia is 32. My husband and I have two daughters, Opal and Amelia. Opal and her fiance Jack passed away four years ago. Her wedding dress had been bought and my baby never got to wear it.

I kept the dress, I don't look at it much anymore, but it's just one of those things that remind me of her, and also Jack who I viewed as my son.

Amelia is getting married to Liam. She asked me if she could have Opal's dress, she said she loves the style/design and wants to tweak it a bit to better match her tastes. I said no, Amelia told me that Opal didn't wear it so no one's seen it, and I can't keep it in a corner gathering dust forever.

I've insisted no multiple times and that Amelia can get her own dress, maybe similar to Opal's design but she can't have this one. Amelia said life is for the living and I'm making things harder for her, she offered to pay and buy it from me but I still refused.

It seemed like Amelia understood, but this past weekend our family and Liam's family went to dinner, his mom pulled me aside and said that Amelia is upset about this whole thing and the wedding planning is already difficult, so I could compromise and make it a bit easier for her by giving her the dress.

Now I'm thinking if I really am being unreasonable? My husband thinks I'm in the right but some third party opinions would be nice.

Edit: Jack bought it for Opal as her wedding gift. I asked Jack's mom if she wanted it, but she declined and told me to keep it.

What do you think? Is OP being too precious about a dress and should let her living daughter wear it? Or are some things too sentimental to give up?

Reddit ruled a heartfelt NTA (not the as*hole). Here are the top comments, and OP's responses:

finsternis86 says:

Wow, NTA. That dress means a lot to you and it’s your decision if you want to let Amelia use it or not. It’s also not MIL’s place to involve herself in something between you and your daughter.

Other-Sun4760 writes:

I don’t think it’s the money the daughter offered to pay for the dress. I think she just doesn’t like that the mum is keeping it in memory and wants to stop that. She’s being a brat.

HooWhatWhen agrees:

What got me was Amelia asked for it because she likes the style. If she had said I want to honor Opal and this is a way I see to do it, there would be (or should be) further discussion. But the way Amelia went about it, OP is NTA while Amelia is.

toujourspret had more compassion for Amelia:

But we, the third parties who neither know the people involved personally nor were present for their conversations, don't know that. The thing about saying things like 'life is for the living' in a heated discussion is that if the person you say it to isn't ready to hear it, that's the only part of the discussion they'll hear.

Even if it was phrased, 'I love Opal and I miss her too, but life is for the living and you need to be as excited about my wedding as you were about hers' it would have felt to OP like 'you needed to get over Opal's death and wedding that didn't happen'.

OP clearly has some strong unresolved feelings about both Opal's passing and Amelia's wedding happening when Opal's couldn't. 'I don't really look at [the dress] anymore' says that OP has spent a lot of time focusing on Opal's death in the context of the wedding, and I can't not wonder if there isn't some upset that Amelia's is excited about her wedding instead of grieving.

Maybe Amelia isn't being the most gracious, but she's also planning a wedding with what sounds like minimal support or even interest from her mother. Instead, she's going to her future MIL for a sympathetic ear while people getting a biased recounting on the internet call her a greedy as*hole.

But InvisiblePlants disagrees:

Even if this is the case, the dress belongs to OP now, not Amelia. OP has the right not to lend out or give away her own property without being called selfish for it. That right isn't superseded just because Amelia happens to be getting married and this just happens to be Opal's unused wedding dress. Amelia is behaving as if she's entitled to her own mother's property- typical bridezilla behavior.

Pleasant-Koala147 comments:

Also, Amelia’s not saying she wants it to honour or remember her sister who died tragically, but because it fits her aesthetic. They’re completely different requests. I think most people would baulk at giving away such a sentimental item of a child who has passed ‘because it’s pretty’.

But OP had more to clarify on the matter:

Amelia has never told me she wants the dress for sentimental reasons. She said Opal never wore it and no one's seen it, so it's okay if she wears it. We've had multiple discussions on this topic and Amelia said that I'm playing favorites and life is for the living, which I'll be honest hurt me a bit.

As far as their relationship went, Opal called Amelia's boyfriend disgusting and some other names which made the situation worse. My husband and I were contributing to Opal's wedding (we said we would offer x amount to both our daughters for their weddings), and we had to lower it to help Amelia out a bit.

Amelia was upset after their deaths but went through it at her pace and came to terms with it. We never really discussed it much, if that makes sense? I felt we were all just healing in our own time. Amelia has made it clear though that she thinks we're holding on to the past and dragging it on.

So, IntentionPerfect responded:

You definitely shouldn’t give Amelia the dress if it’s just about her being selfish, period. But I don’t think it would hurt to talk to her, talk about her feelings and why she thinks you are playing favorites, tell her why you feel how you feel. You lost a child, she lost a sister.

My siblings and I have had worse fights than the one you listed here for sure, but I’d walk through hell for them. Be firm, but understanding. Ignore Liam’s mom, because it really isn’t her damn place.

And as for Amelia saying you’re holding onto the past, ignore her or explain why that’s not ok to say. Just like she is healing in her own way, you are too. I wonder why Amelia is being very immature about it at 30 though, not blaming you, it’s just a thought. I’d expect this of someone closer in their 20s if I’m honest.

And OP had even more to say:

She said I'm playing favorites because I'm not prioritizing her, and intentionally making things harder when giving her the dress would get one thing checked off the list. I would like to say that my husband and I were equal to both daughters, but the truth is we weren't.

It doesn't mean we loved one more than the other, but this is just what it was like. We paid for Amelia's college fully, Opal got a fraction of that. When they were teenagers, Amelia wouldn't do her chores to go out with her friends, we never told her off for it and Opal would do her share and Amelia's.

When Opal got her first job, she saved up for a long time to buy these expensive earrings. Amelia saw it, wanted it and the next day we went and bought the same pair for her. Even for Jack and Opal's wedding as I mentioned, we were going to contribute x amount but took some of it back to help out Amelia. Things like this.

Opal never said anything to us about any of this, although now looking back I can see this was completely unfair. I will be honest, I feel like I let her down her entire life, so I would like to keep the dress not just as a memory, but also like a 'see, this one thing is truly for you'. So this is what the prioritizing means, that I'm not helping out Amelia now and 'prioritizing' Opal, who's no longer with us.

Also thankyou for your comment, reading all of these different opinions and reasonings is giving me some insight.

So, there you have it. It looks like Amelia's intentions weren't as honorable as we would like.

And don't even get me started on the mother in law. The moral here? Everyone needs to respect a bereaved mother's wishes. Keep that dress, OP!

Sources: Reddit
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