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Is this deathbed cfery? Or AIBU?

(109 Posts)
ohwellherewegoagain Thu 27-Feb-20 21:05:07

Very sad situation, elderly aunt is very poorly, having palliative care in hospital. She has a large family on her side, many visitors over the last few days. Her husband, my uncle, is my late father's brother, and I am one of few relatives on his side. We have all been visiting to provide some support. Naturally as you do in these situations people have been introducing themselves to each other, as some of us are at best, distant relations. I introduced myself as aunt's niece and was promptly corrected by another niece, who said that you only called yourself that if you were a blood relation ie in this case a child of one of aunt's siblings. So therefore I was uncle's niece, not aunt's niece. I was a bit taken aback, I consider myself every bit an aunt to my "inlaw" nieces and nephews as my "blood" ones. The marriage makes the relationship, doesn't it? Am I being too sensitive? And wasn't it a bit cfy to for that person to bring it up in a deathbed scenario?

Keeva2017 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:12:21

They are grief grabbing. They are oh so more important and worthy of sympathy than you. How dare you steal their limelight for most relevant grieving relative.

custardbear Thu 27-Feb-20 21:12:27

I've never thought of it thst way either - what a horrible person to try to put your down in such a situation - shrug it off but be prepared to tell her she's your aunt and you're her niece

Absolutepowercorrupts Thu 27-Feb-20 21:13:50

It probably was a bit cheeky to correct you but feelings run high in deathbed situations. Please try and rise above the hurt and be the better person. 💐

Butterymuffin Thu 27-Feb-20 21:15:33

Miserable fuckers. You keep telling people you're her niece. That's absolutely what you are.

My husband's uncle died earlier in the year and I didn't hesitate to talk about him as my uncle.

ohwellherewegoagain Thu 27-Feb-20 21:16:28

absolutepowercorrupts I agree, I didn't make anything of it, didn't reply and wasn't rude, but I can't deny feeling a little hurt, and wondering if I was being unreasonable!

Enchiladas Thu 27-Feb-20 21:16:52

That's ridiculous. Ignore them.

TheSmelliestHouse Thu 27-Feb-20 21:17:34

How unpleasant of them. Your aunts and uncles are your uncles and aunts.

Thehop Thu 27-Feb-20 21:18:23

YANBU at all.

I’m so very sorry for you and your aunt

Spied Thu 27-Feb-20 21:18:57

Very rude and inappropriate of her. She should be ashamed.

7salmonswimming Thu 27-Feb-20 21:19:52

I’ve had this before. It’s very odd. Is this what ‘one step removed’ is about?

Sorry about your aunt flowers

DisappearingGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 21:19:56

Yes she is definitely your aunt!

From the Cambridge dictionary:
Aunt: the sister of someone's father or mother, or the wife of someone's uncle or aunt

ThreeLeggedCat Thu 27-Feb-20 21:20:43

That’s just daft. My DH is as much my nieces’ uncle as I am their aunt. It matters not one bit that they are my brothers kids, so I am technically their blood relation. DH is just as much a part of the family as I am.

GabriellaMontez Thu 27-Feb-20 21:21:48

Shes incorrect and very unpleasant.

Lllot5 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:22:42

Not the time or the place, however I think she’s right. I used to think my ex’s nieces and nephews were mine too. Since the split they are definitely his. My sister’s dd is my only niece now.

Daftodil Thu 27-Feb-20 21:24:06

Not appropriate to correct you on how you see your relationship with your aunt. Of course she is your aunt.

Pedagoogle Thu 27-Feb-20 21:24:45

flowers I’m sorry to hear about your Aunt and hope her time is easy.

Try not to get too worried about it - was the other person a blood relative of your Aunt or married to a blood relative? Could the other relative have been trying to explain whether you are related to them or the person you were talking to?

Other languages have words to explain relationships more clearly and I think English allows for unintended confusion in these circs.

GruciusMalfoy Thu 27-Feb-20 21:26:29

She was completely unreasonable to correct you.

I have blood aunts, and aunts by marriage. I'm closer to the aunts by marriage. It's just the way our family has been. It's not a competition.

Namelessinseattle Thu 27-Feb-20 21:28:54

I understand it under those circumstances, if it's an identifying thing. I'd be saying I'm her niece, joe is my uncle. Otherwise you've people trying to figure out who you are, especially if relatives are coming up out of the woodwork and might not have seen each other in years. Similarly if it was a blood relative I'd be saying I'm her niece, I'm x's daughter.

SuperMumTum Thu 27-Feb-20 21:29:10

She is sort of right I suppose but I would never correct anyone on this. Thinking about my own situation: if my brother and his wife split up she could choose to have no further relationship with my kids but he will always be their uncle. But she is most definitely an aunt to them right now.

PuppyMonkey Thu 27-Feb-20 21:29:18

I would not call that CFery in the MN sense, just someone being arsey. Not necessarily unexpected in the circumstances I suppose.

They only become a CF if they ask you to give them a lift home every day or want to move in with you and trash your house etc imho.wink

FormerlyFrikadela01 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:31:06

Definitely grief grabbing. Used to see it all the time when I worked with the elderly, usually from relative I'd never clapped eyes on the entire time I cared for the person.

Not much you can do about it though. She doesn't get to define the relationship, if you feel she is your aunt and she acted in such a way then she is your aunt.

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Thu 27-Feb-20 21:32:08

It wasn't nice of her to say that to you, particularly at your aunt's bedside. I understand what she means and the relationship is that of an aunt-in-law but it was completely unnecessary to say it. (That is, if your Uncle divorced he would still be your uncle while she would not be any relation to you but most people would automatically describe the relationship as Uncle & Aunt).

I would probably try not to feel so hurt. It may be the niece on the other side is just a stickler for details. It doesn't detract from the loving relationship you have with your aunt.

IceWings Thu 27-Feb-20 21:34:00

When my grandad was dying my uncle threw me out of his house. Because my mum was “only” a stepchild therefore he wasn’t my real grandad so I had no right to be there. Despite him having raised my mum since she was three years old. My grandad was sobbing because he wanted to see me and my uncle just didn’t care. In the end it turned out he was mostly worried about his inheritance.

Foslady Thu 27-Feb-20 21:34:15

Every sympathy for you OP, both on your aunts situation and what you have experienced. FWIW, dd was close to her grandma. Officially she was step grandma but no one ever counted this and we visited regularly.
When she passed away I was told by her daughter that I shouldn’t have bought a floral tribute from dd as it was family flowers only (despite checking with the officiant before I ordered them and he was in total agreement to get them (dd wasn’t old enough to feel confident about attending her first funeral)).

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