A recently widowed man took to the Reddit board to see if he was in the wrong for cutting up a piece of his late wife’s dress for their daughter’s first birthday.
He Lost His Wife
The Original Poster (OP), a 38-year-old man, experienced the tragic loss of his 35-year-old wife in April 2022 during labor. His wife had a premature delivery that resulted in complications, ultimately leading to her passing away an hour after giving birth to their daughter.
The newborn also experienced complications and had to be kept in a NICU for the first two months of her life.
The entire ordeal was difficult for OP and his family, particularly for his late wife’s mother, who was a single parent to her only child. Thankfully, OP’s daughter’s condition improved after the initial two months and she is now a lively and joyful one-year-old.
His Daughter’s First Birthday
A few days ago, OP celebrated his baby’s first birthday, which was a bittersweet occasion. He couldn’t help but wish that his late wife could have been there to witness their daughter’s first milestone.
In an effort to honor his wife’s memory and make his daughter feel the presence of her mother on her special day, OP decided to incorporate a special touch. He used the stitching skills that his wife had taught him to create a unique gift for their daughter.
During her maternity photoshoot, OP’s late wife wore a stunning dark green gown and looked radiant in it. She expressed a desire for their daughter to wear the gown someday, but unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to see this wish come true.
After her passing, the gown was left forgotten among her other belongings, but OP couldn’t bring himself to go through her things as it would have been too emotionally difficult for him.
He Made Her A Special Momento
OP found the motivation to go through his late wife’s closet and cut up the green gown she had worn during her maternity photoshoot into a tiny frock for their daughter.
The combination of his wife’s words, the grief of knowing she would never meet their child, and the occasion of his daughter’s birthday pushed him to take action.
Seeing his daughter in the dress was a heartwarming sight, and OP couldn’t help but notice how the color suited his daughter just as beautifully as it had suited his wife.
OP dressed his daughter in the green gown for her birthday party, but his mother-in-law was upset and tearful upon seeing it. She believed that the dress was destroyed and asked him why he had done so.
His Mother-In-Law Was Not Happy
OP explained that his late wife had wanted their daughter to wear it, and his mother-in-law countered that she had likely meant when their daughter was old enough to fit into it.
She also pointed out that his wife had made that assumption while thinking she would be alive to see their daughter in the dress, which was no longer possible. In her eyes, the dress was a memory of her daughter that was now destroyed.
OP explained to his mother-in-law that the green gown had been among his late wife’s other belongings in the closet, all of which were still intact and perfectly preserved.
He had only used that one dress, the same one she had expressed a desire for their daughter to wear someday. In his eyes, he was honoring his wife’s wish, albeit a little earlier than intended.
As the argument escalated, other individuals began taking sides and joining in. Eventually, OP’s mother-in-law left the party, along with many of the guests, and she has not been responding to his calls. The situation has sparked mixed opinions among their relatives.
Was It a Mistake
OP feels devastated and disheartened that his attempt to make his daughter’s birthday extra special ended up causing tears and strife. He can’t help but wonder if he was in the wrong and if he should have handled the situation differently.
The majority of Reddit users who commented on this post are supportive of OP’s decision to repurpose the green gown for his daughter’s first birthday, honoring his late wife’s wishes.
They believe that the dress has been given new life and that his daughter will now have both maternity shoot and birthday photos with a special connection.
They empathize with his grief and understand that his mother-in-law is also mourning, but they believe that she should have prioritized her granddaughter and not made the day about herself.
Some users think that his mother-in-law’s reaction may have been more about her still grieving her daughter, but they still believe that she took it too far by escalating the situation and ruining the day.
They suggest that OP give her some space and time to work through her emotions, but they also think that he should be firm in not allowing her to project her grief onto his daughter and himself.
What do you think? Was OP in the right here?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Damir Khabirov. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.