I’m glad he’s dead

March 31st, 2017 by Ken

(Editors note:   This is a repeat commentary because I’ve had many responses to it.   I’m running it again.)

Read the obituaries the other day – – and a name popped out.  Someone I knew, someone I had personal contact with – – had died.

But, rather than feeling sadness  – I felt liberation.  Yes, I felt joy when I read the name.   I read the entire obituary to make certain that the person I thought was dead – was dead.

Because the person that died was one of the meanest people I had ever met.   The person that died was a a bully – – someone who had caused me trouble all the young years of my life.

Whenever I passed his house on the way to school, he’d come running out – knock me off my bike – and throw it in the ditch.  And then, sometimes, he’d hit me.   More often than not, he’d just yell and growl – – but on occasions he would hit me.

It became a game for him – and something more sinister for me.  I tried to avoid going by his house, but there was no other road.  So I always tried to figure out if he would be home before I traveled.  And, no matter how fast I rode my bike, I’d start to peddle even faster when I neared his house, hoping to out run him.  Sometimes I did, but sometimes I didn’t.  My efforts to get by him just enraged him and he’d be even meaner the next time.

Over the years I read about him occasionally – in the newspaper – being picked up for drunk driving, or maybe being thrown in jail for fighting.   Whenever I read of his troubles, it would bring me pleasure.  He was finally getting what he deserved.

So, when I read his obituary the other day, I had the same feelings of joy I always had when I read or heard about his troubles.  It was kind of like I was getting even.  I had outlived him and in the end, I felt like I had won.

All of the anger, all of the frustration, all of the fear I had felt for him had been lifted off my shoulders.  It was over.  The bully was dead and I was liberated from my anger.

But now, after thinking about it for a while, I’ve come to realize that this man had probably been an abused child.  Probably the son of parents who gave him little love.  He was probably a bitter and scared kid who found that taking his anger out on others – made him feel better.

But, you know what.  I don’t care.  I really don’t care about his problems, his bad childhood or his lack of self esteem. He took his anger out on me, and fifty years later it still gives me relief to know he won’t be bothering me anymore.

I’m glad he’s dead.

Posted in The Real News

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