A grieving man has taken to Reddit to ask if he was wrong for not informing his childhood best friend's parents about her death. In an August 23, 2023 post that has gone viral and amassed nearly 2K comments in a matter of hours, the original poster explained his side of the story.
The 22-year-old original poster [OP] had a childhood best friend named Luna, 23. They grew up together, living across the street from each other and attending the same school. He cherished Luna deeply, considering her like the sister he never had.
Luna grew up in a strictly religious Christian household. At 17, she revealed to her parents that she was bisexual. They responded harshly, kicking her out and severing all ties.
For a year, she lived with the young man's family. Once Luna turned 18, she threw herself into work, holding down multiple jobs. He supported her throughout this challenging time, angered and pained to see the toll her family's rejection took on her.
Luna managed to get a studio apartment, and though she couldn't afford college, she worked tirelessly, even taking jobs as a dancer and a cashier at McDonald's.
The OP received the heart-wrenching news of Luna's untimely death. The reasons for her passing were deeply personal, and he chose not to disclose them.
Grief-stricken, he and their mutual friends arranged and financed a modest funeral for Luna. Attendance was limited to close friends and their respective families. Given the circumstances, nobody thought to inform Luna's parents about her demise, especially since they had shown no interest in her well-being after casting her out.
A week ago, Luna's parents reached out to him, inquiring about their daughter. Surprised, he asked why they were suddenly interested in Luna's whereabouts. They expressed their recent reflections on their actions, revealing that they had been missing Luna and had started learning about the LGBTQ community. They harbored hopes of reconciling with her, but they had lost her contact information.
Only then did he share the tragic news of Luna's death. Their initial disbelief rapidly turned to fury. They berated him for keeping them in the dark, arguing they could have been present at the funeral, assisted with arrangements, or perhaps even prevented the tragedy.
He later learned that Luna's father sank into depression following the revelation, while her mother was on the brink of a mental breakdown. Despite their past behavior, he wrestled with guilt, wondering if he should have informed them of Luna's passing sooner. He questioned whether he owed them that much, as Luna was their daughter after all.
To clarify further, some asked why Luna's parents, being her immediate family, weren't notified of her death. After being disowned, Luna's next of kin was her aunt, who relayed the news of Luna's passing to the young man. The aunt, not being on good terms with Luna's parents, chose not to inform them either.
There is a right way and a wrong way to notify someone of a loved one's death, but that doesn't make the OP responsible for sharing the news... with anyone. Does it?
According to Coroner Talk, it's "up to a medical examiner or law enforcement department in the survivor’s home area to deliver the notification in person."
Who was in the wrong? The original poster or Luna's parents? Did he have any obligation to notify them of their daughter's passing? Comments are welcome.