AITA for not letting my ex husband have my deceased daughter's ashes?
By - RestLeading7292
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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:
> 1) the fact that I didn't save some of the ashes for him. I refused to talk to him after she died and let my family do the talking.
2) Because I failed to consider that he might have wanted some of the ashes. As per our customs, we immerse the ashes for the soul's mukti (liberation?).
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You are dealing with a lot and I don't think this sub is the place for you right now. That said, you asked, and YTA. I understand you're grieving the loss of your daughter, but so is your ex. You say what happened to Asha on the day she got sick is a mystery to you and you were there--imagine how he feels that he saw his daughter off on what was supposed to be a three month vacation, is then told she is dead, is then told her remains have been disposed of, and can't even get you to talk to him. If I were him, I would half suspect that Asha is still alive and the whole thing is a ruse to cut her off from him. Please consider talking directly to him. It may not be as painful as you are anticipating. In fact, it may help you to grieve with the one other person who can understand how it feels to have lost your daughter.
He might also suspect that OP had a hand in her death. He's probably thinking all kinds of crazy things.
The woman just lost her child. This comment is in extremely poor taste.
So is refusing to communicate with the father of a dead child, and not even sending him a tiny bit of remains.
Her grief is NOT more important than his.
I mean, according to the post, there are no remains to send. The post says they were immersed in the ganges as part of hindi ritual so it's not like she's keeping the ashes for herself.
She did keep the ashes to herself though. She disposed of *their* daughter’s ashes without his input as per her customs. If he was a deadbeat, that’s one thing but he wasn’t. He wasn’t faithful to her, but it sounds like he did his part to not only be a father but a dad to his little girl.
He didn’t get to have a say in anything that happened to his daughter, who he loved. She disposed of their daughter’s remains on her own. Just because she no longer physically keeps the ashes in a box or urn doesn’t mean she didn’t keep them to herself.
SHE'S the one who washed them away! As if that justifies her cruelty.
I don't know how many funerals you've been to, but it's not customary for the bereft family to be issued any portion of the deceased.
A horrible thing happened in the middle of a lockdown, and OP did her best to lay their child to rest with dignity. Not sending the father a tablespoon of sprinklings doesn't make her an AH. It makes her the parent who had to make funeral arrangements alone during a pandemic because of travel restrictions.
Don't even try to play that card. The PARENT can ABSOLUTELY make that decision themselves, and you don't speak for all cultures.
Your dismissal of the needs of a father, who was apparently close to his daughter and had 50% custody, is really just disgusting. We're not talking about a "tablespoon of sprinklings." It's not CUPCAKES. And many people want part of the remains if the deceased is cremated.
She was vindictive and cruel, and she even admits at the end of her update she doesn't care.
I want to see YOU lose a child and be completely cut out of all burial rites, including the chance to have your own cultural needs met. You'd throw a tantrum if this happened to you.
Imagine calling empathy "a card." Jesus christ. Like someone who is putting themselves in OP's shoes is setting out to emotionally manipulate YOU.
You know it's literally your comments that are causing people to call for "dead children" posts to be outright banned on this subreddit, right? You people don't know how to behave.
This man lost his child, the mothers actions are in extremely poor taste
I’ve heard that Covid presents with digestive issues in children. Or maybe she had an allergic reaction to something there? As far an autopsy, keep in mind India was dealing with a pandemic.
It could be anything at all. But the father has been kept in the dark entirely on everything besides being told they were following customs OP admits herself he likely didn’t understand at all. I can understand 100% why he’d be angry and wondering what the hell happened. It’s a horrible situation no parent should EVER have to go through, but when one parent leaves the other out completely of all decisions how are they supposed to feel? That’s ALL I’m saying. None of us have any more info that what she wrote, but the father could have a million questions he’ll never get answers too.
The father wasn't kept in dark. If he didn't understand the customs which were explained to him, that's onto him, but we can't blame him too as he would be grieving so that may have further hampered his ability to understand. What's happened is happened, nobody expected him to ask for ashes afterwards. As he is non-practising Jew, we don't know what he would have wanted. But, the child was brought up Hindu and got the final rites as a Hindu child would. Under Jewish customs, the child would have got burial without embalming so as to completely decompose body, would be have asked for her body parts to be saved then?
But shouldn't he have had a say in what happened with his child's remains? They just told him what was going to happen (probably not even directly) and left him to deal with it as if his wishes meant nothing. At the end of the day, OP got her closure, and the father got nothing, not even direct communication from OP about what happened to his child. I feel terrible for them both, but especially the dad. Imagine your kid dying and being completely left out of the funeral planning.
She was still his child, he should have been part of the decision making process
So, without any medical information you have just decided that OP murdered her child? Right now you are the biggest ignorant AH in the comments.
Children can die from undiagnosed aneurysms all the fucking time. You need to apologize to OP and delete your frigging comment.
As someone pointed out, Covid can present differently in young children. So with it being basically unknown, it's entirely possible that it could be the pandemic.
With how rapidly the kid went from slightly ill to deceased I doubt COVID, but I highly doubt it was anyone’s fault. Unfortunately kids are vulnerable to many things and it’s impossible to say what’s the cause without a lot of more information, information likely no one has.
Whoever jumps to murder really needs to stop watching dateline and other true crime shows.
My friend's son passed away like this, and it was a pulmonary aneurysm. He was 5.
Hey look—Lt. Joe Kenda here smells a homicide.
My my my
My personal favorite Kenda Quote “Being an asshole is not against the law. If I were, we’d have to erect a fence around the state of Colorado and inform everyone they are in custody.”
>My personal favorite Kenda Quote “Being an asshole is not against the law. If I were, we’d have to erect a fence around the state of Colorado and inform everyone they are in custody.”
As a Colorado native I have to agree with this quote.
*my my my*
Lol. Homicide Hunter viewers will get the reference.
Imagine your young daughter travels overseas with her mother, your ex. One day, your former SIL contacts you and tells you your daughter died under mysterious circumstances. You're grief-stricken, naturally. You loved your daughter and cannot even travel to see her remains. You ask for some of her ashes only to be told they've been disposed of. You were not informed in advance of how your daughter's remains would be dealt with, you weren't asked for any input or even allowed to watch via phone her ashes being scattered. So you ask for some of the toys she played with during her last days only to be told no again. What must that feel like?
OP is being cruel. We might be getting a glimpse at why her husband left her for another woman.
As an Indian, I feel like I must add that it is customary to do “Visarjan” of the ashes. I don’t think most Indians know that ashes of dead loved one are be kept by people.
Infact in our culture, cremation usually happens on the day of the death itself. Usually, when someone so young dies, the immediate family members can be in such grief and shock, that the funeral might be arranged by extended family members. I can understand that OP couldn’t communicate with her ex before or during the funeral. Indian funerals and last rites can be extremely rushed and hectic events. And the Visarjan takes place somewhere within 13 days after the cremation. During those 13 days, there’s not a moment when the bereaved family is left alone. People are constantly visiting to express condolences. Not to mention the multiple memorials that are held.
That being said, OP is being cruel by not communicating with her ex-husband and giving him some of the possessions of their late child. I can somewhat understand that there was a miscommunication regarding the ashes. But the refusal to communicate properly even after so much time has elapsed is wrong on OP’s part. I’m finding it very hard to call her an asshole. But it is what it is.
Exactly and the daughter was brought up Hindu on top of that
The daughter was brought up by two parents who both morally have equal say in the death proceedings. No one is really a religion at 5 years old, I certainly wasn’t Lutheran even if my mom thought I was
You admit she’s being deliberately cruel to a grieving father but won’t call her an asshole?
She is grieving still and dealing with it her own way. If you have lost a child you can understand, i know i do. I was probably an ah to everyone around me when i lost my twins in 2016 at 20 weeks along. Grief affects everyone differently
Except she's not being deliberately cruel. She's not doing anything with the intent to hurt him.
I agree that OP is the asshole in this instance, but I think your last sentence is going too far. No one deserves to be cheated on. It's a gut-wrenching betrayal. It isn't her fault that her ex made the selfish decision to try to have his cake and eat it, too. For **two years**. I sympathize with him for not getting closure about his daughter's death, but OP making the wrong decision now doesn't erase him being a cheating heel.
Pardon? You’re going to suggest to a grieving mother that she deserved to be cheated on? Let’s remember when we cheat we cheat our entire families. Our partners and our kids. Out of our time and trust.
You can easily empathize with the father without suggesting his infidelity was deserved, due to the actions of a grieving mother following her local protocols and customs.
The fact he left her for another woman is a reflection of himself and his character not OP
exactly that too when his wife needed him the most
oh fuck off he didn't leave for another woman, he was with two women at the same time. Cheating is purely a reflection of the cheaters character. If he was so miserable he should have left first, found another woman second.
wtaf is wrong w you. Implying that she deserves to be cheated on?! Really?
So u r saying that because OP has PPD it her fault that her sorry excuse for husband has the right to cheated on her . That she got for giving birth to HIS child .Where was he then when OP and her daughter need him the most . O right banging his side chick. Should have thought about the consequences of his action before doing it so that today he won't have to face the reality of loosing his child alone .
O by the way regarding if OP killed her child or not (which is total nonsense) , third wave has already entered in India where children are effected this time , so many children where dying everyday without showing any symptoms. It very sad to see this in news everyday.
So try to read news regarding Covid-19 in India and how this is effecting everyone especially children this time before spreading false allegations toward a
mother who is already grieving for loosing her child . Seriously.
We might be getting a glimpse of your underlying misogyny, more like.
Her husband didn't leave her, he cheated. OP also said he was notified of what rituals would take place. She went no contact with him because he cheated on her, not because of anything to do with their daughter. She doesn't have to break that boundary just because their daughter passed away. He's probably hurting, sure, not remotely going to suggest otherwise or diminish the suffering he's no doubt going through. But dealing with the ashes in accordance with the ritual of the religion she was brought up following, being unable to provide ashes that are no longer in OP's possession, and not breaking a boundary of no contact that was in place well before their daughter dies do not make OP the asshole here.
he was told in advance. he also already has half of her belongings
Yeah, since OP has no plans to return to the US, if I were the ex, I’d spend the rest of my life wondering if my little girl was alive somewhere in India.
I had the exact same thought. Documents can be easily faked. I am not saying that they were, but I would have so many questions regarding a seemingly healthy three year old dying of cardiac arrest this could easily be where my mind would go.
I would also have so many more answers on why she had a cardiac arrest. Was there a congenital defect, did she have an illness, was it a bad reaction to the medication.? Hopefully the medical papers report all of this and a full autopsy was completed, but it typically takes a while to get those type of autopsy reports back.
It is a very, very, sad situation and I am not sure that anything can be done to give the father any type of closure, but I do think the mother should be doing her best to make that possible.
But if he won't believe the literal zoom funeral where he saw the body cremated, the hospital documentation or the death certificate, then what are ashes going to prove?? They could be anyone's! They could be from the fireplace!
Sorry for jumping on the top comment, as an Indian, I would just like to clarify a couple of things about the Hindu rituals, this is mostly pertaining to Northern India. Cremation is performed on the same day before sundown, if that is not possible then the cremation takes place the next morning. The following morning, once the pyre has cooled you collect the pieces of bones that haven’t turned to ash and some ashes in an earthen pot and leave them at the cremation ground in a space provided for this particular purpose. People don’t take ashes home. A prayer meeting is held on the 4th day also called a chautha. On the 13th day, the visarjan is performed, when the ashes are immersed in the river Ganga.
In the interim period there are many more rituals performed, you cannot cook at home (in some homes till the 4th day and in some homes till the 13th day), family and friends are constantly coming and going (there is no concept of inviting people, people just come to pay their respects).
There is no time to process what has happened till after the 13th day. More importantly, there aren’t options for choosing different options for last rites like in the US. Indian Muslims are buried but the plots are reserved for families, so if you aren’t Muslim you cannot be buried. Similarly if you’re not Christian, you cannot just walk into a church and find a priest who will be willing to perform the last rites. So even if OP’s husband had different wants regarding the last rites it would have been next to impossible to execute them.
Did you read the edits? Husband has all of the documentation from the hospital, there is nothing else that OP can give him that would give information if that is what he is really looking for. And the ashes literally don't exist any more - and he was warned that they would be scattered into the Ganges, he even had a link to watch but apparently couldn't be bothered.
OK this is extremely telling: If Ex Husband had the chance to watch the ashes being put into the Holy River, and simply chose not to, he has absolutely no legitimate reason to be mad. 100% NTA for OP
If you are not Hindu you don't know shit about the funeral rites here..
It's not like West , where they keep the body till everyone arrives and everyone dresses up in suits for being sad.
YTA, he is her father, he was an active part of her life you are being vindictive. His affair has nothing to do with him being a father and wanting to have part of his daughter. I hope you can live with yourself for being so horrible to a grieving parent. You had no right to unilaterally decide what to do with her remains, your customs don’t over ride his, you should have given him half of the ashes.
Especially since she confirmed in one of her comments that the father was Jewish. So the customs she used to lay their daughter to rest were not his. And she didn't even have the decency to consult him. She is definitely TA here, and she has been very vague about what the cause of the illness was. If I was the father I would be worried/angry that it was something that could have been prevented/treated in America.
Shit they were massively incompatible. Those two religion's funeral rites are exact opposites...
OP said her ex doesn't practice fwiw. I can understand why he'd want her ashes but I don't think it matters that her religion isn't compatible with his old family religion that he doesn't observe.
I have a Jewish spouse who doesn't practice but he holds onto the same funeral beliefs and organ donation beliefs as practicing Jewish communities. We have very different views on how we want our remains dealt with and will respect the other's wishes. I can't fathom how we would traverse that for our child though.
Yea just because someone doesn't practice does not mean they don't have a belief in their religion. Also even if they don't some people still practice their default religion funeral rites anyways.
I’m Jewish, and even though he was not religious as I am not, I’d be very distraught if my child were cremated. Sometimes things don’t matter to us until we have to think about these things or experience them.
If that's important to you, probably not a good idea to get married to someone from a culture that practices cremation.
Also probably not a good idea to skip learning about your partner's culture before getting married to them.
Valid. He should have. But most people don’t think about their children dying before them.
Not even in that specific context. Just in general. If your partner's culture is important to them, you should learn about it because guess what? It's gonna come up.
It doesn’t sound like OP learned about his either though
it doesnt sound like the ex was connected to Judaism when they were together but OP has always been a practicing hindu so it does seem a little more on him at the time than on her
I don’t see any indication she learned about his either though. It’s a conversation they both should have had, and likely one that they didn’t realize would be so important until they actually had a kid. Had she known about, or cared about, his culture she might have asked about the cremation before it happened to just confirm this was something okay for him. He may have even been cool with it, some Jews are. But the point is that she did not ask, she assumed. This wasn’t a good match from the start probably, they didn’t really stay together long and who knows how often cultural/religious issues came up. It’s on him, but it’s also on her to be sensitive and at least have some form of conversation about the funeral arrangements and maybe even some way to have him participate or have input from afar. I don’t consider that even a cultural or religious issue, just being a considerate person.
In Hinduism, younger children (I think below 5) may not be cremated, since the funeral pyre is meant to purify one’s soul, and such young children are already considered pure souls. So the fire and many of the usual funeral rituals do not apply. And as a Hindu, even I would be distraught at the idea of cremating such a young child. So for him as a non-Hindu and so far away while this was happening - must be heart wrenching. And while the funerals in both religions happen as soon as possible, a lot of times, people do hold off on submerging the ashes for a little bit, and that definitely would have been warranted in this case. And though that ship has sailed, OP’s actions essentially seem like she is not acknowledging Dean as a parent of the child, and dismissing anything that he may be going through. I hope they both achieve some sense of solace.
If I do the math correctly the child was at least six. I mean, 2 years after birth ex started affair that lasted 2 years. Divorce was finalised in 2017. So even if they finalized the devorce right AFTER the affair was discovered the child would have been around 6 years old.
>I hope they both achieve some sense of solace.
The ex never will. He's never seen any kind of proof (that can't be faked) that his child is dead.
exceot the literal zoom call showing the funeral
Daughter was raised Hindu, not Jewish. Dad's religious beliefs shouldn't take precedence over her own.
Parents with 50/50 also have joint decision making rights... as equals. She overstepped regardless if he was practicing or not.
He was told ahead of time and could have objected, but did not, so I'm less certain of that? Like, it wasn't made without his knowledge, if he wanted something else he could have said.
Hindu cremations usually take place within the first 24 hours. Op had the benefit of being there when it happened and having her family there to walk her through the motions.
The father learned about all of this over the phone. In the midst of his shock and grief he was supposed to somehow comprehend a funeral process that he was completely unfamiliar , all within 24 hours?
I mean, I have a period of about 12 hours that I have no memory of after my child died. I have no idea how I got home from the hospital. I don’t know who called my family. Apparently I talked to people, but they knew I wasn’t capable of making decisions.
I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I wasn’t there when it happened
Sorry for your loss.
No one says it should but there should be *some* sensitivity on both sides when you make the decision to have a child with someone who has vastly different beliefs. Respect is still a thing
The child was brought up as Hindu, not Jewish as the father himself doesn't practice his religion. Why do you expect she should have gotten Jewish burial, just because she wasn't with her father? Where do you expect the Hindu family in India to find a Jewish cemetery with Jewish priest to perform last rites? If something were to happen to her in Russia, I doubt he would perform Hindu last rites. He would what's done in his culture and his home country, then the mother could have cried to get her daughter the proper Hindu rites. What would you say then?
Anyone who makes unilateral decisions about the burial rites for a jointly-parented child while not even speaking to the other parent or considering the other parent’s feelings or views is 100% TA in any context.
Obviously there’s not compromising on whether a body is buried or cremated - it’s one or the other, full stop - but it should have been discussed between both parents. And view points aren’t automatically more valid just because one is rooted in someone’s faith in a higher power, nor should one culture automatically prevail due solely to proximity.
In this case, at the very least, the father should’ve been given the opportunity to retain some of the ashes.
No one says she should have gotten a Jewish burial. She wasn’t Jewish since her mother isn’t. What *I* am saying is the remains of the child should be dealt with by both parents. No one thinks they will lose a child, and he may not have wanted the child cremated. He may not have cared. He may be of the mind that it’s a terrible thing, like some Jews believe. He may also have family that passed in the Holocaust and were cremated against their will - which would lead to make this more taboo for some. OP wasn’t sensitive to this and should have been. And frankly, OP has fallen short in her behavior in multiple ways from this post
I could be mistaken but isn't Judism often matriarchal in practice? As in the religion of the mother applies to the child. I am not sure on if that is just BS or not to be very clear.
Edit: OP should absolutely considered the father's wishes either way. Just not sure how it aligns with his religious stance.
yes. the daughter could not have been buried in most jewish cemeteries
Not to mention, those may be in short supply in India.
this made me think of another point- i'm not sure they could have gotten the body to a jewish cemetery in enough time to bury her. jews dont embalm bodies and are buried usually within 48 hours. the sooner the better. like logistically they probably couldnt have shipped the body back to the US quick enough to have a jewish funeral there. so they would have had to figure out a place to fly the body to to bury her close enough to india to get there within a certain time period and during a pandemic! would have been extremely difficult
Having a normal, typical funeral in India, where you already are, sounds 100% reasonable.
Figuring out international (probably to Russia) same day air shipping of unembalmed human remains during a pandemic and coordinating specifically a Jewish cemetery for a non-Jewish person and same day burial where probably nobody could attend the funeral.
Option Two just sounds asinine.
i feel for the ex that he feels shut out. but im not really sure what a compromise would be under these extremely specific circumstances
There is no compromise.
Yes. This. Due to the combination so many barriers to travel, the pandemic, the specific cemetery practices in India, etc., I’m just not at all sure that a different arrangement would have been possible. It sounds like OP did her best to fully inform Asha’s dad of all that had happened and of the funeral rituals. And since the dad is non-practicing in his religious tradition, it’s hard to feel that mom should have violated her beliefs in order to save back some ashes for dad (if this would have even been acceptable to him).
I have to say NAH—just 2 grieving parents who both endured a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s extra difficult that their relationship ended on such poor terms that they’re unable to comfort each other at all. I can’t blame dad for being upset, but I don’t feel that OP is TA.
Remember what the ex husband is upset over. Not the funeral, but a year later when he found out that the ashes were put into the Holy River, which is 100% the standard thing to do for a Hindu funeral. For some reason he didn't know about this custom, didn't look it up, and just assumed OP had the ashes in her possession the whole time.
I’m trying so hard not to be harsh, because OP has suffered an unimaginable loss, but yeah, every bit of this screams vindictive and payback for her ex’s affair. He lost a child too, and not only that, he didn’t get to hear it from OP and he had zero involvement in how her remains were handled and now he can’t even get OP to talk to him. He sucks for his affair, but like you said that has zero influence on his ability to be a father. OP is being incredibly selfish about this.
Disagree. The child was cremated, and normal Hindu rites were followed. There's no vindictiveness here. Just your assumption that US customs ought to override Indian customs, which is a very arrogant attitude.
The issue isn’t the customs. It’s the fact that the husband was basically left in the dark about what was happening to his daughter’s remains and he had absolutely no say about how they should’ve been handled.
In many parts of the world, cremation or burial takes place within 24 hours. OP says he was immediately told of the death, and informed about the rites that would take place. If he wanted to complain, that was the time to do so.
This is what I'm getting from this thread. "It's not Western so it's sneaky and wrong." type vibes.
The daughter was raised Hindu and we don’t leave half of the ashes behind.
I have lived for several years in India and attended a few Hindu funerals. I'm not sure why OP didn't point this out in her post (maybe she's actually a troll, I don't know) but in India ashes are not preserved at home. They are treated as human remains and have to be scattered immediately after cremation. The "funeral" is held afterwards, with a picture of the deceased. My late colleague's wife tried to keep a small amount for herself and wasn't allowed (this was in northern India five years ago).
Naturally people from a culture where ashes are kept will be outraged, but I doubt OP could have saved the ashes even if she had wanted to.
It's a risk one runs when they marry a person of a different culture without clearly understanding the details of the culture.
I do believe that OP should have had at least one conversation with the father and that would be a reason for her to be an AH.
I also see that he was asking for a toy or memory of her and had pictures. If he and her were separated for only a month or 2 I'd understand he as a an individual had favorite toys for her at his house so he wouldnt need any additional toys but they were stuck in India for an extended time during which her likes/dislikes, etc may have changed so it would be nice to give a current piece memorabilia to the father. Denying this small mercy seems a little mean/dismissive/anger filled/petty.
OP rise above your own selfish needs, have one conversation and nothing more. He misses his daughter and wasnt there for the send off. Speak once and close the book.
I did specify that the ashes were immersed as per customs.
Custom is not the same as laws. Your daughter shared two cultures, and one cannot trump the other, no matter how poorly the parent from that culture behaved towards you.
However, when my colleague's wife tried to save a small pouch of ashes a few police constables became involved. There's a difference.
May I also add that I'm absolutely heartbroken for you. If your story is real (please forgive my doubt, this is Reddit), then there's a fair chance you're focusing on assigning blame as a way of avoiding grief. Asha's loss will reinforce maternal guilt in very damaging ways, so please seek a therapist you match well with. You will need the help. My sincerest condolences.
The child was raised Hindu.
I hightly doubt a 5-6 year old has a diverse concept of religion, unlike their parents. Her dad deserves for his daughter to be honored with his customs the same way she was honored with OP's.
And Jewish. You can’t cancel a child’s heritage.
The child never decided she wanted to be raised Hindu and was still a minor
Therefore, she wasn't Hindu
First I'm sorry for your loss.
But YTA. Your ex wasn't with your daughter when she passed. He didn't have a funeral. He wasn't included in the decision concerning the burial. That must be really hard for him to not have anywhere to go and grieve his own child.
He was an asshole for cheating but he doesn't deserve to be excluded the way you have exlcuded him from your daughter's death.
Can you imagine hearing his side of the story?
he was invited to the funeral over zoom, he was informed of the rituals and didn’t protest until after
Its unclear to me, though, whether they were able to attend virtually or in real time. "Sent links" is very vague. It also doesnt negate the fact that OP made all of thw funeral decisions unilaterally. We don't know if dad protested as OP wont speak to him directly
NTA. I don't understand all the y t a s here. There is no provision for ashes to be separated. Had she passed away while in his custody, would he give you anything to cremate? And if he needs something to remember her by, he can take anything that's Asha's, left behind in America.
Edit: I see mostly comments that don't understand the Hindu religion. Dividing the ashes is equal to dismemberment. Had Asha died in ex's custody, could OP, stuck in India, reasonably ask for 50% of the body? Absurd isn't it? Now let's not talk about absurd requests. Had Asha died in ex's custody, she would have been buried in a land 7 seas away from her mother. By this spreading of the ashes, it's more fair that none of the parents have Asha, but her memories. Like toys etc, which OP says is distributed equally among them.
Honestly, I don’t understand them either. OP and her daughter were halfway around the world, with closed borders, during a global pandemic. It’s not like they were both in the same place and able to negotiate funeral rituals. It makes sense that OP would follow the funeral rites of the religion the daughter grew up in under these circumstances.
It’s just a horrible tragedy for everyone involved. It sounds like so many people are lashing out out of ignorance of the Hindu religion or xenophobia (or both) and not stopping to think that under pandemic conditions there was *no way* to truly resolve this before a funeral was needed. And honestly, an “ideal funeral” for both parties would never take away the hurt of losing their child.
I’m so sorry for you and your ex’s tragic loss, OP. NTA.
Absolutely. Like Indian funerals happen immediately. Can you imagine your child unexpectedly dying and being in any state to have a conversation with anyone?
Not at all, and that’s why family members step in and do the arrangements and communications etc. All these people saying OP “could have at least called” or that she “owed him a call” before the funeral rites…I really wonder if they have ever seen an extremely close loved one die, because you cannot just jump up and make those calls yourself. I’ve had a partner who died way too young, and it was like all the air had been removed from my body for months before I could vaguely function. I cannot even imagine how that kind of grief would be multiplied by losing your own small child.
The thing is, being separated by continents and closed borders and lockdowns, *no funeral rites would have given the dad closure* because the lack of physical proximity. And that is awful and tragic, but not the OP’s fault. Even if they had been in the same place, there is no rite on the planet that would alleviate the heartbreak of suddenly losing your baby like that.
Like the YTA people expect OP to stick her dead daughter in a freezer till it got sorted out.
It’s xenophobia. People are more familiar with Abrahamic rituals and are being culturally insensitive to call this mom an AH for conducting her HINDU daughter’s last rites per HINDU CUSTOM
Maybe some comments are coming across this way, but most comments are more outraged that OP attempted absolutely no communication or consideration for the other person responsible for creating this child.
Not to mention people implying that she murdered her daughter as a reason for cremation. It’s literally just Hindu custom… and she isn’t going to keep a dead body around to decompose until the father could make it over. That’s not how it works.
She kept him informed through her family. I don't see why she's obligated to speak to him directly.
I’m not celebrating that. I’m talking about the way that most of the comments are outraged that she performed Hindu rites on her Hindu child. She doesn’t need to get permission for that, but communication should have been there. No one would be outraged this way if she followed abrahamic customs. She shouldn’t have to ask permission to put a Hindu child to rest per Hindu customs.
it sounds like her family was communicating with him, just not her personally
yeah i really dont understand what OP was supposed to do here? they were in india. the daughter was raised hindu. they gave her a funeral based on their location and their religion. i feel for the ex but like.....i dont think it would have even been possible to fly the body home?
just adding this as an eta since the post is locked but jewish funerals are usually within 24-36 hours after death. not three days like the person below me replied. it happens ASAP- three days would only happen if it came before a two day holiday like rosh hashanah
Right? People are expecting her to arrange for a Russian Jewish funeral while she's in India in the onset of a pandemic? I have no idea what the Russian Jewish population is in her specific region, but I'm guessing it's not high.
Yes and in her edit OP said he was told about the ceremonies ahead of time but probably didn't understand. That's partially on him for not asking for further clarification or even doing his own research. His daughter was raised Hindu her entire life and it's a parents responsibility to understand those kinds of customs.
I agree with this. I don't really think it's fair to call a grieving mother an asshole for simply abiding by her culture's funeral rites and not wanting to, uh, fall over herself communicating with her ex. Listen, I get it: he lost his daughter, too, but he *was* communicated with. She doesn't even have ashes to give him! There's literally nothing she can give him beyond what she's already given him. He has toys and clothes, like she does, and no ashes, like she does. And he was sent a Zoom link for the funeral. She did everything she possibly could aside from communicating with him directly, which she really doesn't need to, because he got all the information he needed anyway. I don't understand what all the Y T A voters want the OP to do. Prostrate herself before her cheating ex-husband and ask for his forgiveness for burying her child in her religion's customs?
OP is NTA, imo.
(And all those people who are talking about Jewish customs being followed clearly don't understand Jewish customs. As a Jewish person, I couldn't fathom cremating a child, but I'm also not about to have kids with someone whose religion believes in cremation - and I'm certainly not asking for half the ashes. Clearly the guy is non-practicing, because people aren't cremated and ashes aren't kept in Judaism.)
Going against the grain, NTA. You were in India, and you follow the religion, and I'm assuming your daughter did too. You followed customs and are still mourning. He broke the family up by cheating, showing a lack of respect for you and your daughter. If he already has momentos of her, and pictures, he can have those. The ashes are gone. You guys are divorced, you have no reason to continue contact. Finish your mourning without him making things worse.
Also just wondering, was it ever established what happened? Its odd she died like that and I'm so sorry you had to go through that.
Edit: I read your comments. You kept him up to date. Your daughter was Hindu. She deserves to have that respected and thats exactly what you did. You did everything a mother should. Don't contact that man anymore, you have no connection to him.
Edit: there's a lot of xenophobic replies but what else can you expect from reddit. I'm done replying have fun.
She suffered a cardiac arrest. We don't know what caused that. When we took her to the nearest hospital, she was already gone. covid was at its peak. The hospitals were full. It was an awful situation.
That sounds really tough. I'm sorry this happened. Have you reached out for grief counseling?
I don’t get why anyone expects you to directly communicate with him. there was communication by your sister and that should be enough. he lost the right to expect communication from you when he chose to do what he did
As a father with 50/50 custody of the child I'm sure he would've appreciated hearing directly from her than from her sister.
He might have appreciated it, I'm sure. The OP was under no obligation to do so. Big difference.
he got communication. he has no right do demand communication specifically from her because he did not show her any respect in the past
He didn't think about her when he cheated.
He was made aware of the situation by someone handling it. He deserves nothing directly from her.
And she would have appreciated a husband who kept to his vows
Gonna stand up for a fellow Indian person. Your daughter was given a perfectly fine last rites by being put into the Ganges river. Significantly better than being split in half so half can sit on some old guy's mantel.
Also, wtf is up with people suggesting you divide up the ashes? That is the weirdest, most disrespectful suggestion I've heard in a long time.
I think this is the problem here - most of the commenters are coming from American/Western backgrounds. They don't know and aren't willing to listen to an explanation of the fact that, for Hindus, the splitting of the ashes of a body is equivalent to ripping apart the body to divide it between the parents *before* it was cremated. (I hope that I've got that right, I'm not Hindu myself but that's how I understand it).
Whereas in America, the ashes are seen as a memorial more than a physical person, so dividing them doesn't mean the same thing.
So the question from the mother's point of view isn't "Should my child's father have some of her ashes for a memorial?", it's "Should I have to dismember my dead child to comply with her father's wishes?"
Honestly, I wish everyone commenting here would bear in mind: _not everyone thinks the way you do_. Interpreting this through your own beliefs and cultural norms is probably inevitable but it really isn't fair or helpful. If the commenters were primarily Indian and Hindu, I'm sure that it would read very differently.
As to the conversation - like it or not, the father dissolved any obligations between him and OP when he first cheated on and then left her. The only tie that remained was the daughter. As she's now gone, they have no remaining relationship. Would it be kind to converse with him as he wants? Possibly, but she's in no way obliged to do so.
Yup, you are 100% on this one. The western bias is overwhelming here. You could ask "AITA for being a normal Indian person?" and people would say yes.
As a pastey white American, I can’t agree more with you!
OP clarified that she explained everything to her ex-husband but he didn’t bother to actually learn the custom, he had time to talk to her but chose not to. And I doubt there are many other options during a pandemic, it wasn’t like she could fly home with the body. People keep asking OP to flip it around, but these are weird times, if she passed at her dad’s she might have been cremated or buried, but OP would actually probably bother to figure out what was going on.
I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about the fact that when he cheated, HE chose to rip the family apart. HE chose to only be with his daughter half of the time. If he wanted to be involved in such big decisions in real time, he should not have abandoned his family.
> So the question from the mother's point of view isn't "Should my child's father have some of her ashes for a memorial?", it's "Should I have to dismember my dead child to comply with her father's wishes?"
And he is Jewish where cremating the body is considered the same as defiling the corpse. It should have been a conversation not her unilaterally making the decision regardless of their past history.
I wasn't aware that Jewish folks felt that way about cremation. It does make it a situation where there's no good answer. But I still feel that OP is being judged very harshly by people who aren't willing to accept that she has every right to have different beliefs from them, or take those beliefs into account when judging.
There's also the practical aspects. It was during a Covid outbreak. The father couldn't come to India, and the mother couldn't take the body back to the states. I suspect the local morgue or equivalent was extremely busy, and that it would not therefore have been feasible to delay the rites for the dead until one of those could change.
I don't know how much of a Jewish community India has, but I don't think it will be much. It may not have been possible to get a Jewish burial locally, or even advice on Jewish funerary rites. Admittedly this is speculation on my part, though. It's also worth noting that while the father may have been culturally Jewish, he wasn't religious when she knew him, but she was. So I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't know anything about Jewish funerals.
I just don't think the OP warrants the hate she's getting here. It was a totally unexpected, awful happening, with a global pandemic raging and subsequent lockdowns as a backdrop. OP was utterly shattered by it, and she owes nothing to her ex in the absence of their daughter. Did she handle it well? No, but who handles something like that well?! What would that even look like?
Given the two parents' diametrically opposed beliefs on the appropriate disposition of human remains, can anyone come up with a good, fair solution? I certainly can't, and I'm considering it as a hypothetical, not stuck in the awful reality.
Say OP had phoned her ex, and asked him what he wanted to do. What could he reasonably have asked for, without being an asshole? A Jewish burial? Violates OP's religion, which daughter was being raised in. Flying the body back to the States? Not possible. Waiting til he could get to India? Also likely impossible. Dividing the ashes? Culturally considered a desecration of human remains, to the point where another commenter said the police were involved when it was attempted. I just don't see what difference it would have made to what actually happened. There's no answer that doesn't screw over one of the parents.
There are very few Jewish people in India and very few synagogues. I believe less than 10k out of 1.2 billion people are Jewish.
Also considering it was during the lockdown, it would have been near impossible to get to one even if there was one in reasonable travelling distance. The entire country shut down with very little notice (trains, buses, planes) and the lockdown was very harsh. Cops were even beating up people who came out at the time.
Crematoriums were also overwhelmed so likely got some push to do things as quickly as possible as well.
I’m not certain what else OP could have done to involve the father more TBH
It’s also important to note that he didn’t ask for ashes until a year later. He knew she was getting a Hindu funeral and didn’t complain. He complained a year later when there were no ashes.
This is not exactly western. South american here, and people from where I am dont keep ashes at home nor split them. This is very weird to me. Most of the dead are buried or, when cremated, the ashes are scattered.
I'm an Indian Hindu living in USA but I really think that father's wishes should have been considered. OP decided to have a baby with a non-hindu person and had a responsibility to honor that part of her daughter's heritage as well. No religion is above parent's feelings about their dead kid.
Ex husband didn't say no to the Hindu funeral. He just didn't know about the Ganges part. That's his fault for being ignorant. Ex Husband thought we keep the ashes for some reason.
> Significantly better than being split in half so half can sit on some old guy's mantel.
Not for her other father. Dumping the ashes into a river is equally valid to keeping someone ashes where they can see them. But how you describe each really shows your biases
Imagine that. An Indian person biased in favor of Indian culture.
Hey at least I’m for respecting both her cultures at least you admit your ‘bias’
Now if only the commenters on here could do the same.
Side note: From what I gathered about OP's ex-husband, ashes sitting on a mantel wouldn't be his custom in the first place. That's just some shit I saw once in a movie, I think.
I see some bias in the commenters but not tons considering many are saying both parents needed to have their culture respected. Though some are being shitty claiming her Hindu faith took precedes by because of the loophole of Judaism being matriarchal which is a disgusting defense of the mom’s unilateral actions
I’m pretty sure Jewish custom calls for burial, rather than spreading ashes. This guy didn’t get to mourn his daughter, wasn’t given any input into planning his child’s funeral, wasn’t even able to travel to the funeral, apparently wasn’t fully informed of or understanding what Hindu cremation would entail, doesn’t have any place he can go to mourn his daughter, and OP won’t even talk to him. Of course he’s an emotional mess.
OP is grieving. I get that. And I get that the child died in India and borders were closed, and that these are her traditions. Legally, she might be right under Indian law. But morally? Dad had 50/50 custody of Asha and should’ve been informed. OP needs to at least talk to him.
Bingo, you are correct about Jewish customs.
OP's daughter is not Jewish.
Also, how're you gonna be married and have a child with a woman and not take any time to learn about her culture? Personally I say it's his fault he didn't know how Hindu funerals work.
The way you speak about his culture really shows you’re just as disrespectful as the racist anti-Indians here. “sit on some old guy’s mantle”? Really? Is that how you feel about other people’s burial rites and rituals?
Lol. That wouldn't be his culture's burial rite and ritual in the first place. Racist Anti Indians are still the worst.
Are you aware that the child was also half-Jewish? In my opinion, the weirdest and most disrespectful part of this thread is people pretending the child only had one parent and being quite hypocritical about their condemnation as far as respecting/disrespecting different customs goes.
Are you aware that Jewish beliefs are pretty clear about the handling of the body, and that cremation is considered a form of defiling the deceased? I will note that I am not an expert on Judaism, and the rationale seems to vary in levels of extreme, but pretty much all texts talk about handling of the body in a manner inconsistent with cremation.
Yup, I caught that part. I'm actually married to a half Jewish woman as well. Which is why I know that OP's daughter would not categorize under Jewish at all.
You are talking about Orthodox Jews when talking about the inheritance of Judaism through the mother. It should be noted that while the OP doesn't state the denomination the father belongs to, in America, only 6% of jews belong to the Orthodox denomination.
It should be noted, however, that the important point here is not what the daughter was identified as (expecting that of a 5yo is a bit much). What is important to bear in mind, is the beliefs of the parents, as your initial comment points out. You mention that the idea of splitting the ashes would be tantamount to tearing the body apart, which is a belief held by the mother. However, in the same vein, the father would (theoretically) hold the belief that cremating the body would be tantamount to defiling it. Do note that these are incompatible beliefs, but by following one, you are violating the other, which means at the end of the day, one person's beliefs HAVE BEEN VIOLATED.
I would like to note, I'm not arguing that the father's wishes are more valid, and in many ways, the mother likely had a greater claim as to what to do. However, do note that what was done was not done so after considering both sides, was not done after reaching a consensus, and not even done with a proper level of communication between both parties. There are many ways this could have been handled better, and when both had equal rights to the daughter, one cannot pretend either party had sole rights to something of this nature.
Someone else said it's tantamount to tearing the body apart. While I don't disagree, consider this perspective:
Do MFers expect this woman to dump out human remains, of her own daughter, no less, on a table and scrape bone fragments into two equal parts with a credit card and scoop them into two little containers? That is a tremendous ask. I sure as hell wouldn't do that. Cremation remains are hard to even look at, let alone quantitatively handle.
Info: I saw another commenter say that in India ashes aren't handled by the family and they must be scattered immediately and you likely wouldn't have been allowed to keep any even if you had thought to.
How accurate is that summary? Because if you literally couldn't have saved the ashes that's tragic but doesn't make you an asshole.
It is both a legal and religious issue. Legally they are considered to be Human remains and must be safely disposed of. Religiously, unless all the ashes are immersed in the river, the rites are considered to be incomplete and that the soul will not pass on. Cremation must be done before sunset on the day of death and the ashes collected and disposed of the next day.
I feel sorry for OP. In a lot of Indian castes women still aren’t allowed to go the crematorium or perform funerary rites. It’s very likely that the men in the family would have handled all of it as per custom especially if the OP was as distraught as she says she was.
Right, like that the kind of nuance I'm looking for, I hadn't even considered that. Like I definitely agree the dad's feelings are valid but I'm not ready to demonize OP without knowing more about what her options were and whether she was even consulted for a lot of these choices
This, I did some digging. The government in India takes the official stance of "its down to the specific customs of the varying religious casts", which translates to (in this specific situation) its down to Hindu custom and ritual. Hindu rituals specify that the body has to be cremated immediately and all of the ashes must be spread. OP would have had a hell of an uphill battle to fight for even a small portion of her daughters ashes.
It’s accurate. We do not keep ashes. They are mixed into a holy River.
The priests do not allow you to handle ashes because it’s inauspicious. It absolutely must be scattered in a river. Keeping some of it loose is bad juju.
And to have your ashes scattered in the Ganga (Ganges) is every hindu’s dream.
Yta. I understand that you are in mourning, but then again, so is your ex. Your daughter is also his daughter, and he has every right to have access to her remains and her belongings.
Think of it this way. If she had been with him and died while the borders were closed, how would you feel if your ex did you you what you have done to him?
I realize that you had major differences, and that what he did to you was wrong. Weaponizing your daughter's memory, belongings and remains is just as wrong.
This is above Reddit’s pay grade.
Edit: NTA. Originally had the opposite impression; see my reply to OP here: https://old.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/pq48ll/aita_for_not_letting_my_ex_husband_have_my/hd8hiqc/
Mostly this is just a super sad story. You ended up in India, he was in the US, the world locked down. Asha died tragically, which is just so shocking and sad. And not having an explanation makes it even worse.
I understand you must be experiencing unbelievable grief. But the thing is, her father must be also. The fact that your marriage fell apart and that he had an affair and hurt you is bad and maybe he was an asshole to you back then, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a father and his child died. And think about what that must have been like for him.
It's not your fault that you ended up being in India and he couldn't come for the funeral, but I do think you had a responsibility to communicate and try to involve him as much as possible. For instance, he should have known *before* the funeral occurred what it involved, he should have been given a chance to say something about that, such as that he wanted to get some of her ashes so he could say goodbye.
Not letting him even be involved enough to know what was happening with his daughter's remains ahead of time just seems cruel. And if he has been calling to try to talk about this and you refuse to even take his calls, that also seems cruel.
And it's not just cruel to him. It's cruel to Asha's memory. Would she want him to suffer like this?
If he wants some more of her toys or something it's silly for you to go all the way to the US to give him that, you can surely make arrangements from there. But you should talk to him. Maybe there's nothing else you would ever want to talk to him about, but talk to him about this. And if there's something you can do to help him say goodbye, that's reasonable and within your power, you should do it.
He was kept informed throughout. He knew everything. Maybe he didn't care enough to google **"asthi visarjan"** ritual , but he was told that the ritual would happen after cremation.
I didn't want to talk to him or anyone at that point. My family handled the communication.
I still have the whatsapp chat logs.
If she died in his custody would you care if he entirely ignored your wants?
Yes, googling is the first thing on peoples mind when their daughter dies.
I mean - if he was told and didn't understand and didn't bother to clarify, that changes things *completely*. Sure, your family could have communicated better - they could have assumed he wouldn't know the term or be familiar with the custom and preemptively explained it to him - but he had his chance to say something and he didn't. And frankly, a funeral after a cremation USUALLY involves doing something with the remains, whether it's burying them or scattering them somewhere, so he should have known then to ask about getting some of the ashes if that was important to him.
I get that if he thought he could get some ashes later and didn't understand he would be upset about it, but being "furious" is totally inappropriate. Frustrated is fine, but he shouldn't be taking this out on anyone else, *especially* not on you!
NTA. Will edit my other post.
He is her father and deserved the common courtesy of being involved in these decisions being made.
Ship him a few of the toys he's requested and stop using this as a way to punish him for his stupid decision.
I see all the comments about it is not his customs but why should his custom be used and not hers? I will say NAH because if the father had the daughter, his customs would be used. What I do think you need to do is to choose a toy and a dress your daughter used before her untimely demise. A dress that she liked. Send those two things to your daughters father. This because he was not able to be with her in her last days and this is something he can have instead of aches. He may still be angry about the aches but what's done is done. Maybe I vial of the water? And some dirt from the ground she played? Ask him if he would like to have that. It's not the same but still not an uncommon way to do things. I am sorry for your loss and my you meet again.
NTA. Your family kept him appraised of the customs. And I’m from India, living in the US. Even in the height of the pandemic, people were flying back and forth. If he wanted to, he could have made the effort to come. It would have been difficult, but the channels were there.
And as for everyone making the YTA comments…you know, this sub has a tendency to privilege white, Western customs as the norm and, while it might every now and again embrace some surface level pluralism, most of the time, if it’s a practice done by brown people, it’s backwards, nonsensical, deviant, barbaric. Maybe examine that impulse in yourselves, idk.
Doing some rough math here, your daughter would have been at least 5, likely older, so a school aged child when you took her to India at the onset of a pandemic that was concentrated in Asia at the time, with plans to keep her there for the entire spring term, perhaps understanding that borders would shut and likely keep the family apart for longer. That’s quite suspect. Were you intending to abduct her, knowing that India is not part of The Hague treaty and he’d have no way to get her back? What did the father sign, agree to, and understand, before you left?
What did you do to maintain the parent-child relationship while keeping your child away from her father? When she fell ill, how if at all, did you make medical decisions jointly? It sounds like you abducted the child, made no effort to facilitate his parental rights, and then when the child mysteriously died, you didn’t order an autopsy and you destroyed the body so he can’t request one either.
This is way above our pay grade here and not a question of AH-ery, but since you asked yes, YTA. His adultery doesn’t cancel out the list of things you’re likely guilty of: abduction, alienation, possibly medical neglect (you don’t share enough to say), denying the father a chance to investigate the circumstances of his daughter’s death and participate in planning her funeral, destruction of evidence if her death was anything other than obviously due to natural causes (unlikely - food poisoning usually doesn’t turn fatal within 2 hours), truancy depending on what you did with her education, and possibly fraud if any of her visa paperwork was forged (I doubt he would have signed off on the residency visa you would have needed given how long as you wanted to keep her there).
Read the edit. They went to India in February. The borders closed in March. She said he had no problem with her taking her to India since he took her to Russia. You should read about the issues with getting an autopsy done in Europe. Sudden cardiac death isn’t as rare as we think it is. So many children have heart conditions that go undiagnosed until it’s too late. Heart attacks can present with stomach pain. She probably didn’t think about a heart attack however, because most people don’t think that 5 year olds can have one if they don’t have a pre existing condition.
I agree, there were whispers of COVID before March but my workplace and most places didn’t take it seriously nor shut down until March 2020.
Visiting family internationally is hard, more so for an older child. When I was in kindergarten (which OP’s kid would be in at age 5), my parents knew that they wouldn’t be able to freely travel anymore soon and they took that as an opportunity to take me out of kindergarten every few months for trips, including a month-long visit to family in Asia.
I do think she should’ve saved some ashes for the father, but I do not think OP’s story is majorly suspect, definitely not to the extent that newbeginingshey seems to think.
Personally, I think that OP should at least mail over some belongings if she doesn’t plan to return, it’s the least she could do after disposing of the ashes. The child’s father should be allowed more to grieve.
I’d agree but he already has half of her belongings. We can infer that he didn’t attend the zoom funeral. All her belongings are already split in half. He doesn’t deserve more and neither does she. It should be split equally like it is.
I feel like it’s not really about her belongings. I don’t know if the father attended the virtual funeral or not, maybe watching a foreign ceremony through the internet isn’t what he needs to grieve. Sending a few things by mail wouldn’t greatly inconvenience OP, and the father hasn’t seen his very young child for over a year now, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a few things the child valued and used before she passed away (I assume by split belongings the father just has things from when the child lived with him). OP had her funeral to grieve, she can mail the father a toy.
I agree. However, Sending the ashes is against her religion. It’s like separating her limbs from her body.
I hadn't heard anything about covid until my kids school suddenly said they were shutting down mid March "for 2 weeks".
Whispers? Everyone I knew was talking about the pandemic in China back in February and January of 2020. It was a known thing, not “whispers.” Yeah we didn’t know it’d explode over the world yet, but people knew it existed.
Yes, but there was a lot of misinformation going around, the common person might not have predicted a total lockdown and travel ban. Even the most liberal and left-leaning people I knew were talking about having chicken-pox style parties because they thought it’d only seriously affect the elderly and sickly at the time (and they assumed catching it once would make them immune afterward). I know I was surprised when I heard that schools were cancelling in-person classes for the upcoming quarter, especially when they told me it was because of COVID. The effects of the virus were largely unknown and understated in the beginning.
Stretching like Elastigirl on date night.
First, from a pandemic standpoint, no one knew what was happening or that the virus would be come what it has. I work in healthcare- specifically public health infrastructure, I sat in meetings from January to early March with state and federal authorities who were all urging us to not be overly cautious, that this was probably not going to hit us the way it had elsewhere, etc… in the past 18 months that has obviously changed, but it certainly wasn’t unreasonable for OP to travel at that time with expectation of being able to return.
Second, you’re clearly not an immigrant. We take long trips to visit our families overseas. I mean, LONG. I don’t known if it’s just that Americans are stingy with their vacation time or if hustle culture has people believing they can never leave, but it’s normal to take 2 months/8 weeks vacation time to visit loved ones once a year or even more if you’re able.
And while I do think OP should have spoken to her ex, like an adult, and communicated with him in the wake of this tragedy so that he understood the customs and allowed him to be part of the decision making process. Remember that assuming makes an ass out of you too.
Your comment is horribly racist.
- india is in Asia, but the pandemic reached the American shores before India. There’s barely any cross border movement and flights between India and China. India was doing decently with the pandemic in 2020.
- February 2020 is when she decided to travel and did travel. Did you know what covid would become? If you did, why didn’t you inform the rest of us?! I was planning a euro trip for April with my parents back in February (Obviously didn’t materialize). I go to school in the US, school closed in March for “extended Spring Break - 1 extra week only”
They thought everything would open up.
- the fucking CDC and the UN told us in January / February that covid was NOTHING to worry about. The tweets are there for everyone to see. Whether they lied to us or not, well, that’s not the point of the discussion.
- when you spend thousands on a plane ticket, you want to stay longer halfway across the world rather than come back in 2 weeks. I’m sure her dad was on board. He took her to Russia the previous year.
- the child had a fucking heart attack after complaining of tummy aches. So unusual for someone her age. Sounds like a freak accident.
- here’s some cultural background for you. In Hinduism, bodies are cremated. Buried bodies are considered vessels. The soul won’t get peace and move onto the next phase if the body still exists for attachment. You will not find a single Hindu that doesn’t cremate. Nothing odd here.
- you are accusing someone of abduction, murder, coverup. That’s disgusting of you. You don’t even know them personally to make that assumption.
- American people of Indian origin are given special ID cards and are allowed free entry into the country. Not sure where you see something sinister in her visa being forged. You do know the American passport is one of the most flexible and best ones to have in the world? I personally know several Indian Americans who decided to live permanently in India rather than the U.S.
- American schools exist in India. She can transfer her kid for a short term.
- I personally know an aunt who made a banana milkshake for her kids. They both passed away. The first one fell sick, and then the second one after half a day. They have no clue how it happened. 17 years and the parents are still devastated. Shit happens. Maybe the daughter got a bug. Maybe she had a heart condition since birth.
Everything else, sharing toys with her ex, being more transparent, communicating with him, yes, OP can and should do a better job. But don’t you dare accuse a grieving mother about such things.
Thank you for this. I couldn’t believe this comment when they accused OP of murdering her own child like wtf?!??
Hindus believe autopsies can be disturbing to the soul so I have a feeling she skipped that. Although they are allowed under certain circumstances and if my healthy child complained of an upset stomach and was dead hours later, I’d be all over wanting to know what happened.
Wow, your remarks are nasty, and full of unfounded assumptions. Badly done.
Did you break your femur with that fucking leap?
You’re an awful person
What in the fuck is wrong with you?????
> when you took her to India at the onset of a pandemic that was concentrated in Asia at the time, with plans to keep her there for the entire spring term,
The pandemic was in East Asia, not Central Asia. The continent is huge. That would be like saying New Yorkers need to be careful because there wildfires in California. Also, in February 2020, covid 19 was still seen as a problem for China. It hasn’t really spread yet to predict lockdowns would be coming.
YTA, I’m so sorry for your loss and what he did wasn’t right but he was Asha’s parent too. Not just you. You should have saved some ashes for him.. now the only person who he had a connection to in regards to asha won’t speak to him… I’m sorry but you’re being immature about this.
I'm an Indian, Hindu and live in India. When I was in a pretty serious relationship with a boy of another religion, intermixing of the cultures was the most important topic. We even went as far as planning our wedding before we broke it off because he couldn't come to terms with our funeral rites... Hindus wear white during funerals whereas Christians wear black. Hindus burn the body and Christians bury it...
YTA for not even talking to your ex regarding a child you both share. If he was hardly involved in the child's life or only paid child support, then the bare minimum would be you calling him and letting him know about everything before it is finalised. Also where I'm from (Mumbai) we keep the ashes in the urn for however long is needed until we can either scatter it in the waters or anywhere else that may be sentimental.
YTA. I am so sorry for your loss but your daughter died a continent away from her father and you made all the choices without taking him into consideration. I understand you divorced but you were co parents. You had a moral obligation to consider him when making final arrangements. He wants some closure and you have literally done nothing to help provide that. Had he treated you horribly after her passing or asked for something unreasonable I would understand. But what you describe is you thinking only of yourself and your grief. While it’s understandable, it doesn’t make you right. This is someone you loved enough to marry and have a child with. You should have shown some compassion to each other.
This is a tough one and I'm so sorry for your loss. I know your ex hurt you, but try to keep in mind that he is grieving as well. He hasn't had a chance for closure, to say goodbye to his child. His feelings are understandable. You don't have to return to the US but it might be a kind thing to send him some additional keepsakes.
NAH. So very sorry for your loss.
NTA. You followed your country's normal death customs. You did not withhold ashes out of spite. It's unfortunate that you weren't aware he would want some ashes, as you could have retained a portion to give to him, but that falls under the category or miscommunication and cultural differences, and does not make you TA. It's appropriate of you to send him her shoes as something to remember her by.
I'm sorry for your loss. But yta, he didn't get a chance to say good bye to his daughter and then he was deprived of having any closer. So congratulations on your ravage on your ex husband. You caused him 10 times the hurt that he caused you. So you win on that one.
Imagine it being the other way around. imagine your ex husband taking your daughter on a vacation to see family, you then get the message she is dead and he then cuts contact. How would you feel?
Some of you commenters make no sense.
Debunking your thoughts
1. " he wasn't involved in anyway with the funeral"
Yes he was. He watched the funeral Via zoom. He was also aware of all the rituals that would be preformed INCLUDING the ashes getting released.
2. " She didn't consider his religion and how he wanted it"
Dude, he was a non-practicing jew, jew culture is burying the body with no embalming so it can decompose. The daughter was brought up Hindu and how would you find a jew priest and a Jewish cemetery where they were? If the daughter was brought up Hindu then why would you expect different?
3. " She killed her daughter"
Huh? That's kinda a far stretch..covid hit in India around that time and you can be A-symptomatic and Covid can cause heart problems saying its a respiratory issue. So cardiac arreat can make sense and you all don't know the daughters medical history.
4. " no wonder he left you for another woman"
Biiiiiii, she was dealing with PPD ( Post partum Depression) and just had a child, him cheating on her for 2 years doesn't show her character at all. It shows his, when he cheated, he failed as a husband and a father when doing so. He obviously didn't care enough about his daughter when he cheated. We also don't know how she treated him but if she was treating him horribly but if she was treating him so horribly then he should try his best to get him and his daughter out of there.
5. " he doesn't even have anything of hers"
OP stated he already has half her stuff.
People who want to split the remains — what is wrong with you? Can you hear yourselves? The child is dead. Like, gone. Gone for good. Ashes are not the kid.
Had she not been cremated, what would you have the parents do, cut the body in halves and dispose of them according to their beliefs? Are you out of your mind?
The girl died while in her mother's care. Travel was not an option at the moment. Her body was cremated and put to rest with dignity. The end.
Splitting the ashes? Really? This is sick.
My condolences foe your loss.
I understand you are grieving and so is he.
BUT...you saw her last. You got to say goodbye. These rituals we have surrounding death are to help us process it.
You got those rituals. He didn't.
I would suggest you reach out to him. Talk with him. Let him try to process this. You don't need to return to the US or send him more of her personal effects. But he is probably completely adrift right now.
Yes maybe you weren't ready to deal with him so soon after your daughter's death. But hopefully you can reach out now
NAH: You were doing things according to your religion. Without knowing about his family's customs and traditions, you couldn't have anticipated that he would have asked for some of her ashes. Holding onto a loved one's ashes is certainly not a universal custom in the West.
In a moment like that you're just going to do what the standard thing in your society is - you're not going to be thinking straight because of your grief, and you're going to be propelled forward by the people around you. If he wanted you do something that wasn't part of the standard Hindu ritual, he needed to tell you.
Also it's really complicated to ship cremated remains internationally - [https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-ship-or-transport-cremated-human-remains-1131905](https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-ship-or-transport-cremated-human-remains-1131905). It's not like you could just pop the remains in the mail or FedEx them.
I can see why he's grieving, so I'm not going to call him an AH. But I can't imagine how you could have thought to do things differently, given that he didn't specifically request it.