A Grieving Dad Asks If He’d Be Wrong To Use His Son's College Fund To Drink Around Europe In His Boy's Honor

He feels as if he owes it to him to take the trip they always talked about, even if his son is no longer here.

man, drinking beer, europe Nicolas Provan / Shutterstock

When a father set aside a college fund for his son, he always joked that if his son didn’t go to university, they would use the money for a trip to Europe to try a beer sold exclusively there. 

He never imagined that this jest would turn into a serious consideration after his son passed away suddenly, leaving the college fund unused.

While the boy’s mother believes the idea is foolish and irresponsible, the father feels compelled to use the money for one final toast to his son.


A father wants to use his son’s college fund to take a trip to Europe in his honor after he passed away unexpectedly.

Sharing his story to Reddit, the father began by revealing that his son was always “smarter” than he was. “I almost requested a paternity test because he was so damn intelligent,” the man wrote, clarifying that he was joking.


AITA for spending my son's university fund on a trip to Europe to drink beer like I always threatened instead of giving it to his stepbrother after he passed away? #reddittv #redditstories #reddit #askreddit #minecraftparkour #aita

♬ original sound- Reddit Stories

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While his son was growing up, the man set aside a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for him. A RESP is a long-term savings plan commonly used in Canada to help families save money for their education after high school, including trade schools, colleges, universities, and apprenticeship programs.

“As long as he went for post-secondary education, he could use the money for anything,” the father shared.

“I always told him that I was okay with him not going to university. That way I could use the money I had saved up for him to go to Belgium and buy some beer from monks that only allow you to buy one case.”

The man said that it was an ongoing joke between him and his son.


father, son, beer KOTOIMAGES / Shutterstock

He described the day his son got accepted into university as the “proudest” moment of his life. “I took him out for a beer to celebrate his achievement and mourn the loss of my trip to Europe.” 

However, his son never got to use the money his father had saved for him. Just a few months ago, the teen was struck and killed by a drunk driver.


While the man and his ex-wife are leaning on each other through their grief, they disagree over what to do with their son’s unused college fund.

The father plans on using the money to go on the European trip he always joked about with his son and having a beer in his honor.

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Meanwhile, the boy’s mother wants to give the money to her stepson to use.

While the man understands his ex-wife’s beliefs, he is not interested in giving his late son’s money to her stepson.

“Her husband is a decent enough person, but he made it clear that he wasn't responsible for any expenses for my son beyond food and shelter and stuff, obviously,” the man wrote.


The man’s ex told him that his decision was “stupid” and “irresponsible,” believing that he was wasting thousands of dollars on something that could be used to help her other child.

However, he knew that if his son could see him, he would laugh knowing that his father actually used his college fund to take a trip to Europe to drink beer.

The grieving father feels as if going on the trip that he and his son always joked about would be the best possible way to honor him.

Most people were not only overwhelmed with emotion by the man’s travel plans but also wholeheartedly agreed with them.

“Please go to Europe and celebrate his life! It’s the only thing that should be done with that money,” one Redditor commented, revealing that her own sister was killed in a car accident before she had the chance to go off to university herself.


“You're not wasting your money; you are celebrating your son's life and mourning your loss at the same time,” another user wrote. “I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope the trip is healing for you. Raise a glass to your son for all the internet strangers who are thinking of you.”

“You have no obligation to support your ex-wife's new husband's child; it's appalling they even asked. You do what YOU think is best and what would give your son joy,” another user added. 

beer, man, drinking frantic00 / Shutterstock


Although the man’s son is no longer here to enjoy a European beer with him, using his college fund to take the trip anyway can be an important step in the father’s healing journey.

Honoring his son by doing something his son would have loved can give the father a sense that his son is always with him in spirit, helping him cope with the loss even in his physical absence.

However, just because the man’s wife wants to spend the money differently, it does not make her a monster.

Like her husband, she, too, lost a son and is grieving in her own way. She may believe that using the money to pay for her stepson’s education will not only help him attend university but also honor her son by using his fund to support his stepbrother’s schooling.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve and honor a lost loved one. We all experience loss in different ways and will have different ways of remembering people who are gone.


If that means traveling across the world to have an exclusive beer, then cheers to that!

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.