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A long story with a difficult moral.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Today I found myself not feeling sorry when someone died. I hate to admit it, but... there it is. Here's what happened:

My mother had twin older brothers, Ray and Fay. Fay was tall and strong and smart and wonderful, and he was killed in Europe in WWII. Ray suffered some oxygen deprivation at birth, and was much smaller, with an IQ at the low end of normal. He also fought in WWII (though he should never have been accepted, with his various weaknesses), and he suffered not only shellshock, but also the loss of his twin brother, whom he adored. It left him emotionally fragile and dependent -- the sweetest, kindest person in the world, but afraid of his own shadow and unable to take any kind of initiative.

After the war, Uncle Ray went back to his folks's house in northern Ohio and never left. He worked the same manual-labor job for 40 years, helping to support his parents. Eventually, it was only him and Grandma, and when Grandma died, his niece helped set him up in a tiny apartment in a Catholic retirement community. With support from a brother and sister who still live back there, Uncle Ray established a nice quiet routine that he seemed happy with.

And then came Rosemary, another resident of the community, a widow about 15 years younger. Uncle Ray had never had a date, let alone a girlfriend -- so when she took an interest in him, he was instantly wrapped around her finger.

At first, we were happy for him. But then Rosemary began running his life, making him put her name on his bank account, having his pension checks sent to her apartment instead of his... and while he was out here in Texas for his annual visit, she sold all his things! Even keepsakes that were his mother's, and paintings my mom had done for him... all gone, and she also convinced the landlord that Uncle Ray didn't want his apartment any more and would be living with her. So he lost that, too.

He was heartbroken, but when we tried to intervene and help him get out of her clutches, he would not agree to it. "I can't leave her," he would tell us sadly.

So it continued for several years. Rosemary took over Uncle Ray's life in every way, cutting him off from his family almost entirely. There were no more annual trips to Texas, phone calls very rarely got through... even the sister and brother who live right there in town could only see him if they showed up at the door and absolutely demanded it. And even then, Uncle Ray would barely speak. He seemed to be afraid of upsetting her, and would not defy her word on anything... so he remained isolated.

Then one day, neighbors called the police because they thought burglars had broken into Uncle Ray and Rosemary's apartment. What the police found was that Rosemary had beaten him up... and not for the first time.

But Uncle Ray refused to press charges against her, refused to be taken anywhere for treatment, and refused to let the police notify anyone. The next morning, Rosemary packed their things and moved the two of them into another apartment in a neighboring town -- this time with no telephone at all.

It was only by the good sense of the landlord that the family found out this had happened. After a week or so, an address for the new place was obtained, but knocks on the door were no longer answered.

When we heard about this, of course, we wanted nothing more than to fly up there and bodily remove Uncle Ray from the premises -- but the family back there said they would take care of it, and certainly Mom and I had our hands full with Papa's declining health... so we trusted them to handle it, and they do seem to have tried, though perhaps not as aggressively as I feel was warranted.

Another incident occurred a month or so later, when Uncle Ray was so humiliated by the way Rosemary treated him in a restaurant that when she went to the restroom, he just walked out and headed home (leaving her the car). It was dark and it was snowing. After about three hours, the police found Uncle Ray at the side of the road, an 84-year-old man stumbling along in the snow with no hat or gloves.

His sister and niece tried to persuade him to come live with either of them, but he refused. Without Uncle Ray's consent, there was no way to stop what Rosemary was doing to him... until this morning, when she died from a blood clot.

Despite the abuse he has suffered at her hands, Uncle Ray is stricken, of course -- he just doesn't have the ability to recognize her as the monster she was. But I hope he will soon realize that in losing her, he has regained his family.

So I find that I can't really be sorry she's gone. If this was the only way to stop her... so be it.
post #2 of 25
its not a difficult moral.

Kinda like my cousin husband, at first the marriage was ok, but later he started having some mental issues, refused to get help. He did just about every type of mental Torture he could come with for her. He made her life, living He**

She refused any help, i made server offers to have a talk with him, or just come get her. he was killed couple of years ago, fell into some machine in the mines, All i could think of was, could not have happend to a better guy. Moral of the story i guess is gravity is not your friend.
post #3 of 25
You know, I've always believed in the saying, "what goes around, comes around", but I've never really seen it happen. I'm actually glad to know someone it really worked for! I'm very sorry that your uncle is so heartbroken because of her death. I don't think, were I in your place, that I would shed a tear, or lose any sleep over her death. She sounds like evil incarnate.
post #4 of 25
I dont quite know what to say except that i am sorry for your uncle that he lost his "friend", but i hope he soon realizes that he still has a family that loves him very much. Ya know, they say you dont know what you have until its gone, well i guess that goes for good and bad things alike.
post #5 of 25
I certainly wouldn't feel bad about someone like that dying. I hope your Uncle Ray gets his life together quickly and with the love you all seem to have for him, I'm sure he will be fine. Bless you for being there for him.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
You know, I've always believed in the saying, "what goes around, comes around", but I've never really seen it happen. I'm actually glad to know someone it really worked for! I'm very sorry that your uncle is so heartbroken because of her death. I don't think, were I in your place, that I would shed a tear, or lose any sleep over her death. She sounds like evil incarnate.
Well put, Kelli Jo. I agree. Your poor uncle!
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I certainly wouldn't feel bad about someone like that dying. I hope your Uncle Ray gets his life together quickly and with the love you all seem to have for him, I'm sure he will be fine. Bless you for being there for him.


What a horrible experience for your poor uncle. I wouldn't feel badly either. Thank goodness he's reconnected with people who truly care about him.
post #8 of 25
Geez, how can people be so cruel Bless your Uncle Ray
post #9 of 25
The world is a better place without some people in it. Being free of an abuser can only be a good thing. (It sounds like she was quite the narcissist.)

Hugs to your Uncle Ray!
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Despite the abuse he has suffered at her hands, Uncle Ray is stricken, of course -- he just doesn't have the ability to recognize her as the monster she was. But I hope he will soon realize that in losing her, he has regained his family.
As much as you probably want to laugh at her funeral, please remember Uncle Ray is who you are there to support. You are going to spend quite a while listening to him talk about what a wonderful person she was. When he realizes her faults, he will need your support while he grieves a second time.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Sweets, you are absolutely right. We can't make the trip back there now, but I did talk to my aunt and uncle who live there about not saying anything to upset Uncle Ray. There's no use making him feel worse than he already does.

But I do want to clarify... I would never laugh at anybody's funeral! I may not be sorry she's dead, but I'm not gleeful about it, either, thank goodness. I wouldn't be able to stand myself.
post #12 of 25
I would not feel sorry for her death, perhaps feel sorry for her for the place she will likely be spending eternity- but she brought that on her self. I can honestly say that I hope my step-grandfather is burning in you know where. I never thought I'd say that about another person and I mostly feel bad about not feeling bad about wishing this on him and other abusers like him. She, like my step-grandfather, had no problem making the lives of those around them a living heck. The world is certainly better off without them.
post #13 of 25
That's a really tough one hun and I can understand why you don't feel sorry that she's gone. I hope that your uncle will be able to look back eventually and see with clear eyes how evil she was to him - and ultimately find some peace. He's lucky he's got such a devoted family around him to help him through it all though Send our love
post #14 of 25
Many families, having tried to help and been refused, would have washed their hands of Ray and might never even have known when Rosemary died. Ray is very lucky his family stuck by him, and is there for him now. As Sweets says, he will have a second grieving when he allows himself to realize that she wasn't the saint he thought.

I wouldn't wish anyone dead, and I know you wouldn't either, but her passing is a blessing to him, whether he recognizes that or not.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
Many families, having tried to help and been refused, would have washed their hands of Ray and might never even have known when Rosemary died. Ray is very lucky his family stuck by him, and is there for him now. As Sweets says, he will have a second grieving when he allows himself to realize that she wasn't the saint he thought.

I wouldn't wish anyone dead, and I know you wouldn't either, but her passing is a blessing to him, whether he recognizes that or not.
Very well said!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
Many families, having tried to help and been refused, would have washed their hands of Ray and might never even have known when Rosemary died. Ray is very lucky his family stuck by him, and is there for him now. As Sweets says, he will have a second grieving when he allows himself to realize that she wasn't the saint he thought.

I wouldn't wish anyone dead, and I know you wouldn't either, but her passing is a blessing to him, whether he recognizes that or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Very well said!
she'll leave a hole in his life, but eventually that hole will heal, & he'll be better off w/o her.
post #17 of 25
I agree with you. I wouldn't be sad about her dying. Hopefully your uncle will be able to enjoy the rest of his life in peace and comfort without her.
post #18 of 25
I'm sorry for your uncle Ray, and hope that the family in the area can get him settled back into a stable environment. If he's been that dependent on her all those years, he's going to be lost without her, even if it was a weird relationship.

You just gave me a Twilight Zone moment again Carol. I have an uncle who was revived at birth but was considered mentally handicapped due to the length of time he didn't have oxygen to his brain. Replace Ray with Harold. Replace Ray's gold-digger with Harold's gold-digger. Replace factory job with bus boy. We tried numerous times to obtain power of attorney over him because she only left him enough money for his public housing and food. She wouldn't live with him and he was rail thin from not having enough money to eat. But this woman was doing this to a number of men in their apartment building (a high rise with lots of retirees).

I know how Harold would react if his woman ever died. That's why I would have concern about getting Ray re-established in a stable living environment. And while I wouldn't be turning handwheels if Harold's woman passed, the family would breath a major sigh of relief. This has been going on for over 20 years now (Harold is 80).

(Harold is the son of my grandfather that served in WWII, possibly in the same area as your dad)
post #19 of 25
Wow, this story brought back memories, none of them really happy. My name is Rosemary and the man that made my Mom unhappy was my former step-father, Ray. When they started talking about getting married, I told everyone what a jerk he was. My family thought that I was just being a 17-teen year old. They finally figured him out when I was away at college.
After that, my family really did stand by my Mom and me. She finally divorced him.

A year ago Mom called and told me that he had died, I had to listen twice to the name to even remember who he was. I guess that I had put it out of my mind because it hurt so much.

I never felt anything for him, in life or in death. My Mom had long since stopped being afraid that he would hurt her.

I do know that you will probably have to, like others have posted, listen to when he tells you how wonderful his Rosemary was. Maybe she did a great deal for him in some way.

Thank goodness for your family.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Very well said!
I agree!

I understand why you aren't sad that she is gone. I do feel sad for your Uncle though! My prayers will be with him as he readjusts to life without her!
post #21 of 25
Carol,

I would never wish anything on anyone no matter how much they may deserve it, however, I can't see where I would miss her either. I don't see any reason why you should be sad. I feel for your uncle, but maybe once he has had some time, he can see how much his family really cares and that he can still recover what was once lost.
post #22 of 25
I would personally be saying an extra "Thank you" prayer.

Maybe your father "helped" with that situation
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm really surprised that so many of you have taken time to read all that -- you're all troupers!

One person did PM me to ask what I meant by a "difficult moral," and I thought I should post my reply to her here, too:

Moral [I wrote] may not be the right word. It was late, I was tired, and Clyde was asleep on my mouse hand.

I just meant that it's very hard for me to accept not only that I don't regret her departure, but also that, upon deep reflection, I can't entirely hate myself for feeling that way.

So maybe one of my most deeply-held principles -- that each of us should hold every life ultimately sacred -- isn't quite true, see.

I'm still having trouble with wording this. I just feel wrong to feel what I feel, or to not feel what I feel I ought to feel. Y'know?


So that's why this bothers me so much. Not because I ever wished her harm or took any joy in her passing -- I did not. It's just because I feel like even the worst of us deserve to be mourned at least a little, and I cannot mourn her. My Uncle Ray is the gentlest, most utterly innocent soul I know, and the thought that this woman actually beat that sweet, frail old man just erases my compassionate instincts. That's never happened to me before, and I guess it confuses me.

Thank you for your insights and stories and moral support... as always.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
I would personally be saying an extra "Thank you" prayer.

Maybe your father "helped" with that situation
Oh gosh, I appreciate the thought, but -- no, that's not my father. To his very last day, Papa felt bad for every Japanese or North Korean or North Vietnamese death he was ever responsible for. If he had decided to do something about Rosemary, he probably would have chosen to send some suave gigolo to woo her away from Uncle Ray and then con her out of her savings.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
It's just because I feel like even the worst of us deserve to be mourned at least a little, and I cannot mourn her.
while i understand your feelings, i also must point out - someone is mourning her... just not you.
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