Estranged son who hasn't seen parents in years pretends not to recognize them at sister's funeral

Gillian Sisley

A man who was abandoned by his parents as a child pretends he doesn’t know who they are while attending his sister’s funeral. He has written about the incident on Reddit to find out whether or not online users believe he was in the wrong or not.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author begins by explaining that when he was 6 years old, his sister developed a ‘serious illness’. For this reason, he was ‘unceremoniously dumped’ on his grandparents and uncle, who took him in.

This left a lasting impression, as his parents told him one day that he was going to visit his grandmother, and then just ‘never picked him back up’.

Family estrangement happens when one or more family members are cut-off from another family member, whether willingly or unwillingly, according to Psychology Today. This often leads to feelings of long-lasting negativity and painful feelings for the estranged party.

The author adds further context with:

“I’ve seen my parents maybe 5 times since then and not at all for the last 9 years. I decided to stop having contact with them when I was 12 and since I was the only one reaching out all communication broke down.”

Though this is heartbreaking, the author explains that it all worked out, because his aunt and uncle happily raised him as their own. They considered him to be their ‘miracle child’, since they couldn’t have children of their own. He views them as his true parents.

Unfortunately, the author’s sister passed away just before Thanksgiving, so he flew home around Christmastime to attend her funeral.

However, when his parents approached him for some mutual grieving, he didn’t react the way they expected:

“They approached me and tried to give me a hug. I did recognize them, but I pretended not to and just backed off and said “Sorry, do I know you?” They said “We’re your parents!” and I said “My parents are at home.” and went and sat down with my gran.”

On the way out of the ceremony, they asked the author if he ‘really didn’t recognize them’, and he still pretended that he didn’t, stating that he hadn’t seen them since he was little.

This wasn’t the last word he heard from them, either:

“They wrote me a long letter about how hurt they are and how I should understand that they were trying to do the right thing.”

Some family members feel he was ‘too harsh’ to the parents in their time of grieving, but his grandmother feels that his parents ‘got what they deserved’ for abandoning him as a child, and then trying to just walk back into his life.

What do you think?

Was the author entirely justified to treat his birth parents like strangers, since they abandoned him at 9 and didn’t bother to raise him?

Or are his other family members right in that he was cruel to do this to them after they just lost their daughter?

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