Unusual obituary

rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
Wow. But then we don't know what she did to her family, so maybe she did deserve that.
Originally Posted by curlylaura
she's dead. saying bad or good things about her now does nothing to her spirit.

what i wonder is if the person who wrote the obit was speaking for him/herself or truly speaking for the entire family.

regardless, i hope the woman is at peace, and i hope the family can get through their grieving, move on, and learn from whatever dysfunction had occurred in their family.

ETA: and i agree with amneris in that we should all honor our parents. from a Christian point of view, i take that as meaning that you should respect them as your parents. that doesn't mean you have to agree with poor decisions, overlook unethical/immoral behavior, or forge a close-knit relationship with a parent who is generally toxic. but it means you should understand their humaness that makes them difficult to be around, pray that they'll get a new heart, and find something to learn from your relationship with them.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

Last edited by rainshower; 08-18-2008 at 06:44 AM.
I am guilty of holding onto things for way too long, but if I were in this situation, I don't think I'd be able to let it all out in an obituary read by the general public. I would keep my thoughts with family members who understood the situation. I don't see what good it does to broadcast what a horrible person someone was in life. If it's that bad, I would keep the obit to the basic facts--date of death, surviving family members and that's it. I just can't see the point of going on about how worthless and hurtful someone was in something published for the world to see. It did strike me as stooping.

I realize I am fortunate not to have anyone in my life that would drive me to this extreme.
The Bible says "Honor thy mother and father so your days will be long in the land" or something like that. I think this is partly where Am is taking her beliefs.

I see both sides. It takes time for abuse victims to become survivors, IMO.
Originally Posted by Phoenix

I know the Bible says this, but truly I do not believe (nor does my pastor) that God meant it if the parent does something that basically negates their role as a parent. What I mean is, your parents are supposed to raise you, teach you right from wrong, provide for you, keep you safe from harm, etc. If they beat you, or have you endure horrendous forms of abuse, they are no longer acting as a parent should and do not deserve "honor". It's a two way street, and I don't think it was intended to imply that no matter how horrible your parents are, always give them honor.
The Bible also says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up by training and instructing them about the Lord."~Ephesians 6:4
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There are some lines that should never be crossed. If a parent abuses or neglects their child then they cease to be a parent. There is more to being a parent then donating sperm and eggs. Fertility does not make you special. If you want honor, respect and the privilege of being called a parent, you earn it with your words and actions, your reproductive organs has nothing to do with it.
There are some lines that should never be crossed. If a parent abuses or neglects their child then they cease to be a parent. There is more to being a parent then donating sperm and eggs. Fertility does not make you special. If you want honor, respect and the privilege of being called a parent, you earn it with your words and actions, your reproductive organs has nothing to do with it.
Originally Posted by cympreni
ITA
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
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The Bible says "Honor thy mother and father so your days will be long in the land" or something like that. I think this is partly where Am is taking her beliefs.

I see both sides. It takes time for abuse victims to become survivors, IMO.
Originally Posted by Phoenix

I know the Bible says this, but truly I do not believe (nor does my pastor) that God meant it if the parent does something that basically negates their role as a parent. What I mean is, your parents are supposed to raise you, teach you right from wrong, provide for you, keep you safe from harm, etc. If they beat you, or have you endure horrendous forms of abuse, they are no longer acting as a parent should and do not deserve "honor". It's a two way street, and I don't think it was intended to imply that no matter how horrible your parents are, always give them honor.
Originally Posted by Amandacurls
i don't think the verse meant that either. but i do think God means that even with the worst parents, a child should harbor no hatred in her heart. both my nieces' and nephew's parents (in laws) neglected them, leaving my mil and fil to raise them. now that they are all adults, none of them respect their parents. they remember too much of the neglect. so they talk to their mother and father any old kind of way. i had to check one of them about that. i told her that it's ok that she's upset about him not being strong enough to raise her when she was little. it's normal that she has resentment, as she's the oldest and can remember more than her siblings. and it's ok that she's upset that she went on to witness him live a rather pitiful life, jobless, homeless, and basically at the disposal of anyone who'd give him shelter. but i had to make her remember that he and their mother gave up custody of them so that his parents could give them the life that he knew he and their mother weren't able to give them in their drug-addicted states. for that, she should honor them and not treat them like sludge, berating them to their faces like they are offensive vagrants. they are still her parents. she doesn't have to pretend that he's an upstanding citizen and set herself up for heartbreak by forcing a father/daughter relationship that she know they'll drop the ball on. but she doesn't have to hold anger and hatred for them either. because that won't take away their blessings; it will only take away hers. she's gotten a lot better over the last few years. her parents aren't bad people. they were just the kind of people who were weak-minded and as a result, easily succombed to drug abuse and street life. they did love their kids enough to give away their legal rights to people who would give them a secure, stable homelife and not split them up into separate foster homes. so even through all the resentment and anger and hurt, they still have something about their parents that they can honor and cherish.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
There are some lines that should never be crossed. If a parent abuses or neglects their child then they cease to be a parent. There is more to being a parent then donating sperm and eggs. Fertility does not make you special. If you want honor, respect and the privilege of being called a parent, you earn it with your words and actions, your reproductive organs has nothing to do with it.
Originally Posted by cympreni
ITA
Originally Posted by Amandacurls
I'm in too, this is it exactly.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.

and in my opinion, you should always honour your parents and grandparents - they were given to you and you have no others. Yes, I know that there are parents who abuse and neglect their children, and I don't mean that you should pretend that they are great parents or great people, but you also don't have to stoop to their level.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I think for some people, you could never stoop low enough to get to their level.

I also don't agree that because you have no other parents, you should honour them. That just doesn't make sense.
Originally Posted by Piglet
Yagotta said it so well when she said this:


more bitterness, strife and anger isn't going to turn anything around. It only makes things worse. It only makes that person's legacy live ON. What I was saying was I hope those people can someday forgive... because forgiveness brings about a great deal of healing. You can't hold onto anger... it will kill you. I just can't go along with the notion that it's ok to keep being angry. I know that may get me slammed, but I can't just sit here and say what I think will be popular thing to say, or the thing that won't ruffle feathers. Anger and strife are destructive if you hold onto it tightly and never release it. I always hear "I have a RIGHT to be angry!!!" Yes, you have a RIGHT to be angry... but it's not right at all, to keep it close to you for the rest of your life. It will only destroy you.

I totally agree with every word of this.

What I mean is this (and I know not everyone believes in God; these are just MY beliefs) is that God gives you your parents, and gives parents their children, for a reason. If they are reasonably good parents, then those are the people who show you love and shape you. If they are bad or terrible parents, then maybe they show you who NOT to be or lead you to better things, or something. But you will never be able to change them for anyone else. And like yagotta said, if they were bad, abusive parents, then you "honour" them by ending their legacy and being and getting better for yourself. If they were good parents then you love others the way they loved you. If some was good and some was bad, then you try to discard the bad and keep the good.

I do feel for the family of that woman and I hope that publishing that obit does help them heal. I can't even imagine some of the possibilities of what they might have been through. I wonder how the two deceased children died and if she had anything to do with that or if their deaths somehow scarred her.

As to the point that having had a bad childhood or bad experiences don't excuse bad behaviour, that is true. My grandmama had a hard childhood that I can't even imagine, but from that, she got her mantra that children need love and you can never love a child too much. That's the type of mother and grandmother she was, and as a result, I was so blessed to be raised with so much love, and that's the love I want to give my child. So it's not necessarily true that going through pain and abuse stops anyone from loving or forever ruins and scars a family. But not everyone reacts to things the same way, and I think that there's a reason why we look at things like child abuse so negatively and with so much anger: because we KNOW it permanently scars some people and some families so much that they never recover, and some then abuse others as a result. That may not excuse it, but I find sometimes that when you have been hurt by someone it does help to put their actions into the proper context.

On a much lesser scale, I have an aunt who can be verbally abusive and has some very disturbing habits and ideas - but most of them can be traced to things that happened growing up due to colonialism and racism, and it makes it easier to tolerate being spoken to in that way knowing that how she was treated was so much worse... and also makes it easier to avoid doing the same things.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I think a lot of our difference of opinion comes down to our religion, in that you are Catholic and I'm just not religious. And I respect your religion and your beliefs.

I'm also speaking from semi-personal experience here.

My view is that forgiveness is extremely individual. If someone wants to forgive, that's up to them and I also think you can forgive the damage done to you. I also don't think that if you don't forgive, you'll cause yourself damage due to the anger and hate (and I'm not suggesting these are your exact beliefs either - I'm just paraphrasing a bit from the general vibe of posts along these lines). I think someone can not forgive and not hate. I also think you can hate and deal with your daily business just fine. I'm not talking about someone so consumed with hate that they are plotting revenge every minute - I'm talking about when you say 'what do you think of person x' , the answer is that you hate them. Same for being angry. I think there might be a fine line between inactive and active emotions though, if that's possible.

Moving on..

I don't like the thought that you're given certain parents for a reason. It seems like the higher power is being unnecessarily cruel to lumber people with evil parents. I think there are too many people who end up totally screwed up by horrible parents (and then the misery spreads from one generation to the next) to say that. Yes, some people do end up making great parents who've had crappy parents themselves. I'll be the first to say that. Many, I would wager, are the start of a cycle of problems.

I agree with you about ending the legacy. I just don't agree about honouring people who don't deserve it. And as I've said, this is something we will have to agree to disagree about because our religious beliefs are so different (you have them, I don't ).

I agree that having a bad childhood doesn't excuse bad behaviour, although it can provide a reason. Depending on what the bad behaviour is and what the background of the person is, I can make certain allowances and I don't doubt you would be empathetic enough to do the same.

I think it's great that your grandmother got through her difficult childhood to become the grandmama you love so much and I say that without an ounce of sarcasm. I agree also that a bad childhood will not necessarily seep down into the next generation. I do believe it often does though. Also, even if those with a bad childhood do become great parents themselves, often there are lasting effects, such as financial difficulties through the parents not gaining a good enough education or having parental advice and support. I know because I've seen it happen. As with slavery, the effects continue after the event has passed. I still feel the ramifications of things that happened half a century ago.

I feel for your aunt. I agree that knowing the background can help to put things in context a bit and help you to understand the person. I know someone who isn't nice and has a variety of problems and all can be traced back to certain things in her childhood. I'm no psychologist, but I can see it as clear as day. I don't forgive her for what she did, but I do understand that she has problems and it often isn't 'personal'.

Lastly, I'd just like to say that not all awful people had bad parenting or bad childhoods. Some people are just bloody awful and there's no excuse.

Sorry for the length of this.
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No, it was NOT me who cried 'wee wee wee wee wee' all the way home.
It just seems very honest to me. Not vindictive. Healthy, really.

At my father's memorial, the pastor at one point asked if anybody wanted to stand up and relate a story about my dad. No one did anything for the longest time. It was kind of excruciating.

My sisters and I had extremely complicated feelings toward our father. There were good memories, yes, but they were so distant, from when we were very small. And whatever kindness he had shown in his life was outdone countless times by the selfish acts that mostly defined who he was as a person.

My father's death brought me a great deal of relief and I don't have any problem admitting that. My relationship with him was always a struggle — an exercise in constantly being the bigger person, giving and giving and giving with no expectation of anything at all in return.

I would have written him off, but as he was my dad and he wasn't actually evil or abusive, I never felt I could do so.

We had just finished fully supporting him for 7 years as he fought a terminal illness. I can honestly say he never in a million years would have done the same for any of us. I guess we felt we didn't "owe" him anything at the memorial.

Anyway, finally, some neighbor who lived 3 houses away stood up and told a somewhat amusing story about borrowing lawn equipment or something. Then the pastor asked, "Anyone else?", waited about .5 second for a response, then moved on with the rest of the service.

I always wondered if my stepmother agreed to including that portion of the service, and if so, why she didn't have a story in mind to tell. But she's just as messed up as my dad was, so I try not to waste too much time ever trying to figure out what she's thinking.
Agree with cympreni and others that this is part of the healing process. At this point, I hold no anger toward my father. I know he had a troubled childhood and did the best he could.

That doesn't equate to me singing his praises when he dies. Or even holding my peace.

Trust me, unexpressed anger will kill you.

Last edited by wild~hair; 08-18-2008 at 05:21 PM.
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She was probably a murderer or a pedophile or something.
Sue will never forgive her mother. Sue is 13 years old and has been fending for her life every day since she was six years old. The only true healing she will get is once her mother is dead and long gone. And maybe not even then.
Originally Posted by CurlyEyes
You need to talk to Sue and convince her to tell someone again. She needs to tell, tell, tell until someone listens and acts.
That was just beyond tacky. You may have very hard feelings for someone, but I don't feel you should air your dirty laundry in the newspaper. Deal with this in private with your family. Just don't do a funeral, obit, or anything. Cremate the ***** & be done with it.
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You need to talk to Sue and convince her to tell someone again. She needs to tell, tell, tell until someone listens and acts.
Originally Posted by Myradella3
But in the meantime, things probably get worse each time she tells.
I already said this in a PM to curlyeyes but I will repeat it here for any young person (or anyone else for that matter) who may be reading this.

You are NEVER too young to make a difference. If you know or suspect someone is being abused, tell someone, a teacher, councilor, principal your parents, you can even call CPS yourself. They are required by law to investigate every report. Young people are more likely to admit to someone their own age, and CPS/councilors know this, they will not write you off because of your age.

Sometimes they give the parents second and third and more chances and the parents keep doing it, but don't let it stop you. If you know it's happening report each and every time you see a bruise, burn, etc. Something will be done eventually. Even if they do get sent back, least they will know someone cares enough to stand up for them and try to protect them, which is much better then the alternative.

Many times abuse doesn't stop unless someone makes it stop. You can make a difference, never forget that.
My grandmother had 4 children, and only one still speaks to her (my mom).

I can imagine if my mom's brother or sisters were to write an obit, it would look similar to the one posted here.
My father and I were not speaking when he died. It was unexpected, or maybe one of us would have reached out to the other and come to a truce. Still, I was there at all the funeral events, to mourn the daddy of my childhood and to support my brother and aunt (father's sister.) No matter how angry I was at him for events over the previous 6/7 years, I would never have written somthing like that obit. During the funeral, I said and did all the appropriate things. Again, for DB, DA and my mother, who passed away 16 years before.

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