It's rare that these parts turn into The Ethicist, but a reader sent an email over the weekend that has us all curious about, you know, the right thing to do and stuff.
Essentially, a woman bought tickets for the Steelers-Dolphins game this year as a birthday present for her huge Steeler fan boyfriend. She purchased them over eBay in November and waited for the tickets to be released in August. And then she heard nothing. She emailed the guy repeatedly, but never heard back. Frustrated, she Googled his name to find a phone number ... and she learned he had died. But she had still paid for the tickets. And the dilemma presents itself.
There's no wife and no one living in the apartment he rented. I called the funeral home as a last ditch effort, and the ancient secretary (also a Steelers fan) has offered to help me try to get in touch with the guy's family. So far, no dice, and the game is looming.
Of course, I feel terrible about going through with all of this. The guy was incredibly sweet, and this feels tacky and/or morbid ... but we're impoverished grad students and I paid a LOT of money for those tickets. I know that I'm a bad person, though, because at no point have I volunteered to take a refund. I just keep saying, "well, whenever I can get the tickets..."
See, now that's a legitimate pickle. What do you folks think? Should she just let this go? Is she being insensitive? Does you know how hard it is to get Steelers tickets?
(NOTE: The guy in the picture is not the guy who sold the tickets then died. Different guy.)