She had no responsibility to pay for her adoptive sister’s funeral. But when she refused, one of her other sisters instantly turned against her, and she couldn’t understand what brought this on!
One Versus Three
OP (Original Poster) is a 34-year-old woman who has 3 younger sisters: Carol, who’s 22; Marie, who’s 20; and Lily, who’s 19. OP was adopted, and her siblings are her mom’s biological kids that she had later in life.
Following Her Father’s Footsteps
Her sisters’ father left them and moved to a different state when Carol was just six years old, and she was the only one who could remember and recognize him.
As soon as Carol turned 18, she ran off and joined her estranged father in a “shady” religious compound, and that’s how it went for the next few years.
Carol’s Unexpected Death
However, Carol unexpectedly passed away several months before OP shared this story. When they got her body back from the police, they found themselves in a bind.
OP wrote, “Our family has never had that much money, and all my mother could afford was a simple, direct cremation. We all know that given how religious she was, this wouldn’t have been what she wanted, but she left no will because she died at 22.”
In Need of Some Assistance
So, it wasn’t long before OP’s mom called and asked her if she would be willing to pay for her sister’s burial. OP did some calculations and saw that it would be technically possible.
Still, she would have to sacrifice her financial freedom and live “very lean” for about half a year afterward to compensate for the money. Her mom said it was not a problem and they would just have Carol cremated.
A Sudden Demand
However, a day after talking with her mom, Marie called and screamed at her, saying she was “selfish.” Marie told her that since she could afford the burial, she should pay for it and do it for the family.
According to OP, “This is very out of character since Marie basically never expresses emotions.”
Breaking Her Legacy
Aside from accusing her of being selfish, Marie also said that OP was “dishonoring” Carol’s memory by forcing their mother to get rid of Carol’s body in a way she never would’ve wanted.
In her defense, OP explained to Marie that paying for the burial isn’t a sacrifice she’s willing to make since Carol didn’t have a will and they never had a functioning relationship. She also reasoned that when Carol immediately went to another state, nobody in their family kept in contact, and the last time she had a conversation with anyone was back in 2018.
Sister’s Meddlesome Ways
After their conversation, Marie started involving her father’s extended family, and they have been constantly blowing up OP’s phone. They were saying how “selfish” and “ungrateful” she was for the “sacrifices” Carol made.
What’s up With Marie?
Marie insisted that OP was wrong and obligated her to pay everything for the burial since neither she nor their youngest sister, Lily, has a job.
OP added, “I am quite honestly shocked by this outburst, and I don’t really know where it’s coming from. Given how out of character this is for her, I’m wondering if I’m in the wrong.”
Lily’s Quiet Thoughts
OP asked for Lily’s opinion on the matter, and her sister expressed her sadness that Carol could not be buried. However, unlike Marie, she also said that since it was OP’s money, OP should do what she wanted with it.
Profound Conversations With Mom
OP also talked to her mom about how Marie found out, and apparently, Marie asked about their conversation, and OP’s mom said the same thing she said about why she can’t pay. Marie just overreacted and exaggerated.
Her mom never got along with Carol because she adored her father so much. That is also why her mom is entirely on her side.
A Family Contribution
For her sisters’ extended paternal family, OP told them she would be happy to contribute to some of the cost if they could also chip in. After that, they stopped messaging her.
OP added, “I don’t know if that means they are deliberating or gave up.”
Their Heart-To-Heart Talk
After some time, Marie calmed down, and they could have a civil conversation in person. Marie apologized to OP, and OP asked her how she truly felt about Carol’s death.
Marie explained that her sister’s passing hit her harder than expected, so OP recommended grief counseling, and Marie said that she would be looking into it. Another thing that Marie shared with OP is that she was planning to look for a job so that there would be more money to take care of Lily in the future.
What Redditors Think
Everyone agreed that OP was not the wrong one in this situation and that Marie and her father’s family should find a way to pay for the burial themselves.
Someone wrote, “Not the a**hole. You actually ‘can’t’ afford the funeral but would be able to go into debt for it. You just don’t want to. There’s a difference. Maybe not a single person on her father’s side can pay for the funeral, but collectively, perhaps they could all pitch in and come up with something.”
“Not the a**hole, but ask the others blowing up your phone how much they will be contributing. Marie is welcome to go get a job, too. How about asking the dad to pay as well? Maybe go with a GoFundMe campaign, but you are not the one who this all falls on. Especially when there was no relationship between the both of you,” another person commented.
Just Shoulder It on Your Own!
Redditors also said that OP should not let them pressure her into paying. If her sister’s father’s family wanted to do the burial, they should handle it instead of obligating her.
A Redditor commented, “Not the a**hole. If Marie and their dad’s family are hell-bent on having her buried, they are more than welcome to either cover all the costs or pay the difference between a cremation and burial and the added expenses such as plot and headstone.”
Another one wrote, “Not the a**hole. If it’s that important to them, they can all chip in to make it happen. If they try to talk you into paying upfront now and they will make payment to you, don’t fall for it. You won’t get a dime if your experience is like mine.”
What do you think? If you were OP, what would you do?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Shoulder Her Religious Adoptive Sister’s Burial, Although She “Could Afford It.” They’ve Basically Been Estranged for Years, but Her Other Adoptive Sister Says She’s “Selfish” and “Ungrateful!” on Quote Ambition.