Woman Refuses to Return Heirloom Engagement Ring to Fiancé’s Family

Gillian Sisley

If your fiancé dies, should you return the engagement ring to his loved ones?

The death of a loved one is a truly tough and difficult time for any person who experiences it. With over 3 million deaths taking place in the US every single year, and 200,000 of them due to accidents, the loss can be a sudden and unexpected tragedy. It takes time to heal and move on after such a significant loss.

And among those who pass, some will have committed partners or spouses. And though there’s been a decline in the number of marriages in the last few decades, over 2 million people still get married every single year.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a woman loses her fiancé in an accident, and not long after his family asks for her engagement ring back, as it’s a family heirloom.

If your fiancé dies, should you return the engagement ring to his family?

A Reddit post published on March 23rd, reported on by Jack Beresford from Newsweek, has gone viral with 13,800 upvotes and 3,500 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she recently lost her fiancé in a tragic work accident, and she is still heavily in her mourning stage. She and her fiancé, Jake, had been together for 6 years at the time of his passing. However, if this loss weren’t heartbreaking enough, his family isn’t being very empathetic towards her.

While publicly mourning the loss of her deceased partner, Jake’s brother shockingly requested that the author return her engagement ring to the family. The ring, which is considered to be an ‘ancient family heirloom’, was asked for so that it could be kept within Jake’s family.

The author took great offence to being told at her fiancé’s funeral that she was ‘no longer considered part of the family’, and while she recognized that the heirloom is ‘priceless’, the story behind it is still a personal one. She goes on to explain that Jake’s grandmother gave him the ring a month after they started dating. He later told the author that he knew from the beginning that they were going to get married, and that it meant a lot to him that he got his grandmother’s blessing before he proposed. She later passed away, but had given her blessing on the union.

When Jake’s brother asked for the ring back at the funeral, the author was furious. He explained that his own fiancée, Stacy, had fallen in love with the ring some time ago. The author brushed him off, deeming the request incredibly disrespectful. However, that’s not where things ended. After the funeral, Stacy texted the author and said it would ‘mean the world to her’ if the author would give her the ring instead. She even suggested that the author could view it as a ‘bittersweet ending’ to her relationship with Jake. The author still refused, more offended than ever.

It’s in poor taste to take gifts back after a death.

The American Academy of Family Physicians advises that after suffering from the tragedy of a death, it’s important for a person to take time to mourn and emotionally process what has happened. One is also advised to still attend to their physical needs, and that it’s important to stick to a routine.

Though the author refused Stacy’s request, she didn’t back down. Stacy went on to remind the author that the ring was meant for one of the grandsons to give to the ‘love of his life’, and Jake’s brother was the only living grandson left, so she should give the ring up. Even worse, Jake’s mother later contacted the author and told her that while she ‘understood her pain’, she should still ‘suck it up’ and give the ring to Stacy, as it was a family heirloom. Infuriated by the insensitivity of her supposed in-laws, she spitefully told the mother that she would be ‘taking the ring to her grave’.

What do you think? Is the author justified in being so offended by the request made at her fiancé’s funeral, and for saying that she’s going to keep the family heirloom for herself? Or is it understandable that the family is asking for the priceless ring back, and no longer thinks the author should have it since she’s not marrying into the family anymore?

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