So often we humans think that we have to feel one thing OR another about pretty much anything. We confine ourselves to a method of dualism when it comes to our experiences, categorising everything into dark or light, good or bad, positive or negative. But being human means that we are also more complex than that, and those complexities help us to learn things in a number of different ways.
I remember when my mother died I was heart-broken. I had always hoped that we would be able to spend some quality time together after my father, who tormented me all my life, was dead and gone. They were not of the generation where she would divorce him, no matter how many reasons she had. And, of course, life throws us curve balls every so often just to see what we are made of…and she died first. Now…she had struggled with cancer that spread through her body. So on the one hand, I was incredibly sad to see her go. On the other hand, I was so glad to see her go because it meant that she was no longer in pain and agony. Truly, I feel that in our world euthanasia needs to be legalised. There is absolutely NO NEED to make a person go through that at the end of their life. And there seems to be a belief that to administer more pain killers such as morphine will only lead to their eventual addiction to the drug. But we are talking about END OF LIFE…so who really CARES if they become addicted? They are DYING. Sometimes it takes the planet way too long to get on the same page. Seriously…we have more compassion for our animals than we do for our family members when it comes to end of life.
Then, a couple of years later, my father died. He was pretty miserable on his death bed, which is to be expected. He focused a lot of his anger over the situation on me, which I also expected because of how he was and what he was like with me. So when he died, I felt sad…for two of my sisters and my brother…because they would miss him. They did not have the same kind of relationship with him that I did. So my compassion kicked in. Yet, truthfully, I was glad that he was dead. I no longer had to deal with his hostility or his abuse. And part of me wished that he had activated his exit strategy a LOT sooner. Now some people might find that quite harsh. I don’t care, because THEY never had to live with HIM. He was very charismatic to the outside world, but thought NOTHING of beating the crap out of his son for the slightest “infraction” behind closed doors. For me…he was a Tormentor….a monster. So I am allowed to have whatever feelings about his passing and no one is allowed to judge me on that.
Years later, it is something that is so neutral for me (because I attended to my healing work on that matter) that it is almost non-existent except in foggy memory. That is ok. Of course, recent events have brought up the subject again…as yet another tormentor has passed. And while I feel compassion towards those who loved this person and were close to this person, I have absolutely no regrets or negative feelings about the passing. I want to be there for those he treated well who will miss him, but I have no sadness about him being gone. The last nine years of his life I never saw him and never had to deal with him. So it is not like I have held resentment at all. He just became a non-entity for me other than that he was close to others that I love dearly. And he was old, so the passing was a definite eventuality anyway.
Do these thoughts and feelings make me a bad person? Definitely not. They make me a PERSON…neither good nor bad. People are allowed to have feelings about things like this. I have also always been tactful, yet completely honest, so when people have accused me of “speaking ill of the dead” I simply reply that I am speaking truth of the dead. The fact that a person is dead does not in any way make them a sudden saint. They were human and had human flaws. I don’t dwell on those flaws, I simply state them as they are…or were. I would hope that people will do the same for me when I am dead and gone. After all, anything less will risk the evolution of a twisted religion of some sort. Just ask those folks who religions have been formed after…they will tell you…that was never their intent! So no, it does not make anyone a bad person to have feelings other than rose petals and perfume about someone who has passed away. It makes you a NORMAL person. What would make you a bad person is if you were cruel to someone who was close to that person who passed. Compassion is the key. You are allowed your feelings on the matter, but they are not MORE important than the feelings of those who are grieving the loss. Nor are their feelings more important than your own. It is important to have tact and grace when it comes to situations like this. Be there for the people who are grieving…in whatever way you can. And have someone you can talk to about your very real feelings regarding that person…someone who will not judge you for having had a different interaction than others had, or for having different feelings about the situation than others do. No one had to be right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark. Just be real.