Mother-in-Law Furious that Widow Won't Let Her See Grandson

Gillian Sisley

Should in-laws always have access to their grandchildren?

Being a parent is a difficult job, and most parents would tell you that they would do anything for their child. With that said, one of the greatest fears of a parent is the possibility of their untimely demise, leaving their child to continue through life without them.

Of course, a loss this significant is awful for more than just the child, and it would affect any loved one of the person who has passed. This grief can extend far beyond just immediate family, and even into the fringes of estranged relationships.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a widow refuses to let her estranged in-laws see their grandson after their daughter has passed away.

Should in-laws always have access to their grandchildren?

A Reddit post published on August 30, reported on by Kate Fowler from Newsweek, has gone viral with over 6,000 upvotes.

The author begins her post by explaining that, tragically, her wife passed away from a terrible illness several years ago. Her wife, Em, had a strained relationship with family, as they didn’t accept her for being a member of the LBGTQIA+ community, and kicked her out of the house. Em was no contact with her family from the age of 17.

Em made it clear to the author, just before passing away two years ago, that she didn’t want her parents in their son’s life. Em didn’t even want her parents to know about their child’s existence. The author adds that she is the biological parent of their child, which is important context further in the story.

If the author’s in-laws ever learned about their child’s birth, they never mentioned it. The author states that they were invited to her wedding with Em, but they declined, and they even didn’t attend Em’s funeral, even though they’d been invited. The author’s in-laws were as estranged as estranged can get.

Does everything change in the wake of a death in the family?

It’s been two years since Em passed, and just recently the author got a message on social media from her mother-in-law, requesting to know more about the author and her son. She agreed to meet up with her in-laws, but didn’t bring her son with her when she did, which they were visibly disappointed about.

After some polite small talk, the in-laws then asked bluntly when they would get to ‘spend time with their grandson’, claiming it was their ‘right as grandparents’. The author informed them that Em had made it clear that she didn’t want them to know anything about the little boy.

She ultimately agreed to ‘think about’ whether the grandparents could see her son, but she even feels guilty that she met with them, considering Em wouldn’t have wanted that. After some arguing at their initial meeting, the author told her in-laws that she would ‘contact them when she made a decision’. She ultimately declined to let them see her son, clarifying to them that as her son is ‘biologically hers’, and doesn’t share DNA with Em, they legally don’t have a ‘right’ to see him at all. The mother-in-law is threatening to get a lawyer and take the matter to court.

What do you think? Should the author let her in-laws meet their grandson, even if it’s against her dead wife’s wishes? Or did she make the right decision in denying them access as a way to honor her wife’s desires, as a way to protect her son from people who had once disowned their own child?

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