Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Should we send her all of these pictures?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) December 23rd, 2011

My husband and I are going through pictures to put together albums for his children. In the pictures we have found a bunch of photos of his ex-wife and her extended family. Since these photos were taken his ex-wife’s sister was murdered by her husband. Many of the pictures are of the sister and her husband and there are several of just the sister and of the sister and her children. We want to send these pictures to my husband’s ex-wife as they are of her family and she most likely does not have copies of them. The question is, should we include the photos of her and her husband or should we hold on to them and destroy them? If it is consequential, the murder occurred last spring so the wound is fairly new.

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16 Answers

MrItty's avatar

Why not just ask her if she’d like the photos?

fordest's avatar

That is fairly new. I would definitely not destroy them. If you are on good enough terms with her, I would contact her and ask her if she would like them. I can understand why it may be difficult to look at them now, but I cannot imagine that someday down the road she would not love love love love to have those photos.

zenvelo's avatar

You should ask her.

Tell her what the pictures contain and ask her if she’d like them. Don’t just dump them on her and surprise her, that’s not nice. But also don’t presume she would or would not want them, respect her by asking her.

SuperMouse's avatar

We were absolutely planning to contact her prior to sending the photos. Because the crime is so recent and my husband is not close with her these days, we were not sure about discussing these specific pictures.

fordest's avatar

I would mention them. If you are not comfortable with it the at least save them. But maybe as a…. “oh, BTW, we found these photos….”

whitenoise's avatar

I’d ask her.

linguaphile's avatar

I would contact her and say something like, “We were cleaning out and found all these photos. There are a lot of photos that I believe really belong to you and am prepared to send the to you. They are from xx year to xx year—and include pictures of (sister’s name). I would love to send them to you right away, but the pictures do include some of her ex husband. I am not comfortable making a decision about the timing of sending these photos. Could you let me know what to do with the photos?” (then end with warm wishes for continued recovery)

That way you let her know the photos exist, that you’re willing to send them, but that the decision’s hers.

jca's avatar

I would ask her and even if she says she does not want them, hold on to them anyway, in case she changes her mind in the future.

wundayatta's avatar

Is the murder the elephant in the closet? I don’t see why you can’t mention the subject matter specifically—“they include your sister and her spouse. We can hold onto them in case you ever might want them, or we can just remove any that have him in them.”

How the hell do you make sense out of something like that? What was the reason for the murder? Do people struggle with the idea they somehow could have prevented it? I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel in that situation.

Sunny2's avatar

Communication is almost always a good idea, even if it’s difficult.

gailcalled's avatar

Wait until after the holidays, when grief is often at its sharpest and then ask her.

Box and label them; find the right moment later.

john65pennington's avatar

I would send all of them and let her make the decision.

Holding back the photos, and she later discovered this, could cause problems that I am sure you do not want or need.

SuperMouse's avatar

@wundayatta I like the specific way you worded that. I am fairly certain my husband could use that sort of wording to ask the question. Since they are not close anymore it seems like a tough subject to even try to broach. @gailcalled I also think your idea of waiting until after the holidays is one I am going to follow.

@wundayatta it was seemingly a fight that spun totally out of control. He claims that he got the gun in order to kill himself and that somehow he blacked out and ended up shooting her. It is really a horrible situation all the way around. They have two school aged children who were in the house when this happened (in the garage) and they were effectively orphaned in the span of ten minutes.

Judi's avatar

There is a Pedophile in our family. It’s a long story, but he was never prosecuted and my sister for some reason has chosen to stay married to him. My children were never victims but they were warned all their life of him and he has never been allowed any where near alone with him. They probably saw him 4 times in their life.
When my mom died last hear we did a big family photo and he was in it. It was probably the last time the entire extended family will be together.
I had copies of the pictures framed for my kids.
One daughter proudly displays the picture with a sticker covering his face.
The other daughter doesn’t display hers.
I keep mine out. It is an ugly part of our family history, and it is evidence that, at least in this branch of the family, we will no longer hide our secrets in the closet. We will point to this normal looking person and say, “This is what a monster looks like. ”
However she wants to deal with it is really up to her. I would give her the pictures (Probably after the holidays) and let her process them however she wants. She may want to cut him out of the pictures, burn them, or any number of things, but I really think that the decision should be hers.

Ela's avatar

You probably have this all figured out but I thought I’d chime in anyways ; )

I would get a blank note card that has a picture of something she likes on the outside (dogs, birds or whatever). I think it would set a friendly, warm tone. I would send her all them except the ones containing her sis. I would write her a brief note saying what you told us, that you were going through going through the pics to make albums and thought she would like to have the ones enclosed. I would tell her you also have several pictures of her sis and her sis with her children that you did not include at this time. Some of the pictures also include the husband. With the loss of her sis so recent, you were unsure if you should send them at this time but will keep them for her. Include a few consoling words and let her know you will send them at anytime, just please let you know.
I would use names each time I referred to “her sis”, or “her children” and I would use the husband’s name only once and would use “he” or “him” thereafter if I mentioned him again (which I probably wouldn’t)
I’m not sure if this will help or makes much sense…

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