Obituary of a Child Abuser

No, not anyone I know, just something I saw in the news, all over the news actually, that started up some interesting thoughts in my mangled mind.

One day my abusive father will die, and I assume someone will write an obit for him. I wonder what they will write? I wonder who will write it? Not me. Perhaps his sister will. His passing will mean nothing to me. Perhaps a bit of relief will come my way, knowing he can no longer hurt anyone and is finally out of my nephew’s home. But do abusers deserve a respectful obit and funeral, respectful that they were a living human and that life is now gone, or do the abused deserve the truth to be told again? Should the funeral be full of the good they did in life, or a reminder of all the pain? I do know I have no intention of attending my father’s funeral, if someone has one for him. But I also think I would not disrupt the services someone else planned. We all need closure in our own way. His siblings knew him before he was a child molester and may be entitled to grieve for the boy they grew up with. Just like a couple years ago, when my father’s sis-in-law tried to keep him away from his brother’s funeral. I thought he should be allowed to quietly attend and say good bye if he wished, though I do wonder if it was only to keep up appearances that he is in fact human and capable of loving his brother in the first place. I’m not so sure that is true.

I’m still not sure what I think about the following obit that abuse survivors wrote for their own mother’s passing. It is a powerful message. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts about this.



“Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”


20 thoughts on “Obituary of a Child Abuser

  1. I saw this as well and thought of our little group of ACoNs. I mulled over my response. The first thing was: “Wow.” “Good for them.” “Not easy.” “No one will care how she treated them but will be horrified they didn’t carry on the expected line of polite lies.” “A part of me wishes I could do this, but I know I won’t.”

    It will make many people uncomfortable. Good. It will please those who wish they could do the same. The ones who need the message won’t get it.

    • I think you about covered it all here. Good for them, yes. Definitely not easy. And the ones who need the message will not believe it or care. I don’t think I need to do this. A few years ago, before all my healing and hard work, I may have needed it. And that was my first thought, wow, these poor ‘children’ are now adults, but still obviously hurting. I wanted to hug them all.

  2. What a punch! I guess it is difficult to imagine an old fragile and vulnerable person being an abuser. I suppose there are old peoples homes up and down the country with little old women and men who receive no visits from their children. Very sad but oh so deserving

    • That is definitely true of my abusive father. He can’t even stand up any more, so no one views him as a threat, and don’t understand my fear. But he can still travel to bars and casinos on his own, he is still alive, and still a monster.

  3. I heard people defend the pedophile in my life, they said he was framed. I wasn’t there when he was imprisoned. I wasn’t there when he died. I didn’t care and don’t know where he is buried. Writing such an obituary may be closure for some. Unfortunately, it is a waste of ink to say it to most. Abusers excel at blaming and shaming their victims. They mastered the lies to tell outsiders. I agree that truth needs to be stated, how sad that few will listen. I am impressed that they are doing what matters by helping children that need help now. I do hope it becomes a national movement to protect children from abuse.

    • I agree with much of this. I hope it did give some closure for them all. I was hoping all the siblings were in agreement about posting it, because depending on the stage of healing, that could have been terribly traumatic. I was also impressed that they have been involved and already helping other abused children, and in such a public way. I think people are already much more aware. The parents my age know about the dangers – and speak openly about it. I’ve only started getting out and talking to people, and so far I have been blown away by how protective these other parents are, and how outraged they are by abusers in the news. The silence has been broken. Changes are being made for the better. I take some comfort in that.

  4. I thought it was brilliant. I’m glad it brought a feeling of justice to the survivors, and I admire their bravery.
    I always say that I will be at the front of the line, to kick the corpse into the grave…

    • I am also happy the survivors have a feeling of justice. I know it wasn’t easy to do. I applaud them, but I don’t think it would feel right to me personally. And it’s one thing to say you will kick the corpse into the grave, and quite another to actually do it. I make passing comments like that too, but when it come down to it I don’t have any anger or energy left for my father. The anger left when I took away his power to hurt me. Now he is nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. I will grieve for the father I should have had, and the life he could have had, but will not mourn his death.

  5. I read this and thought to myself, “Good for them”. This is a powerful message, to survivors, victims and abusers. It is also a powerful message to those who turn a blind eye, those who justify ignorance whether willful or not.

    When my ex passed I had to think about my response. We had strange relationship. He wasn’t directly abusive but he had issues. He never abused his sons, but he used them especially as they grew up. He certainly hurt them, expecially my youngest. My fury at his actions was terrible, but there were many things I kept from his sons as his actions were not against them but instead against me and against their biological mother. She and I made a pact, we would not speak ill of him and would not tell his secrets, unless it was necessary to protect our shared sons. So when he died, broke, from drugs and drinking in a flop house after having no contact with his sons for eight years I was in a quandry. His sons still loved him and were hurting. Me? I would let the city burn him and toss his ashes in the nearest bin. His sons though they needed closure, they needed frankly to finally know where their father was. My wife-in-law (their biological mother) and I gave them the money to buy a plot, a casket and a headstone; now they can visit.

    We still don’t answer questions. We did not attend his burial. Neither of us know where he is buried.

    • Yes, I think it was good for them. I also think those that choose ignorance will remain blind no matter how many messages like these are printed.

      Your second part hits home for me. I have been protecting my own children in a similar fashion. I respect what you did for your children, allowing them closure, and to hold onto an image of their father that worked for them. My children have seen my father a few times, they know he exists, but they don’t know him at all. They never ask about him, they aren’t even curious. I’m not sure I will tell them when he dies, since I don’t plan on going to any services someone may organize. But they are too young to tell the entire truth, I am protecting their innocence, something that was stolen from me. My kids will be able to grow up and explore life at their own pace, not have it forced on them. I think I may have told my 10 year old that he is not a good man once, not nice to us, and left it at that. I guess they just trust me enough, or it doesn’t even phase them. They have amazing grandparents on Hubby’s side and will have wonderful memories of them. But I do think if my kids were older and actually knew him or felt some attachment, I would do like you, and allow them the burial to help them move on. Funerals are for the living, not for the dead. I applaud you. I think sometimes the whole truth, full disclosure, is not needed if the only effect would be to cause pain.

    • Yes – totally agree. People do want us to lie. I know my mother would have fits if I did something like this. She’s worked hard her entire life to build an outside image of our perfect family. I would do it if I had to, but I don’t feel the need at this point in my life. But good for them, yes.

  6. I had read this obit early this week and I am glad that they had the courage to do it. I work with a lot of seniors who never have visitors and I no longer judge the children. There must be a reason and a damn good one.

  7. I have always been annoyed by the saying, ‘do not speak ill of the dead’. I am even more annoyed by people who are dealing with someone’s death knowing that they were scum, but after their passing, are spoken of as if they were the best thing that ever graced the earth. I agree with what this family did, because I feel that in any situation, the truth must be told. This was their truth, so good for them. I think that it all depends on the feelings of those who are left to do the work and whatever gives them closure should be the way to go without worrying about ‘following the norm’.

    • Well said! I could not agree more. I just pictured people at my father’s funeral, standing up and trying to find something good to say. Ha, that was a funny image. I think everyone would struggle, even the ones that don’t believe the abuse know he hasn’t done much good. I’ll bet they would focus on his long, arduous battle with emphysema and make him out to be a hero that way. Or not. I’m not a part of his life, and from what I can tell, pretty much everyone has turned away from him. He has lost his strength in his illness, and is unable to charm and carry on that false persona, and his true, nasty self is showing now.

    • Hi Charlene and RTB,
      I am annoyed by this saying as well. My MiL passed away about 1 year ago and people seemed to come out of the wood work to say how wonderful she was, what a beautiful mother (people who had never met her). She wasn’t, she was abusive and unloving and cruel. When people believe we should only talk about the good things about the person after they are dead, why? Why didn’t we tell them that they were wonderful while they were living? Why does it wait until after their death. If someone is wonderful in our lives, then we should tell them while they are living, not wait until they are dead.

      I echo what you say, they did something brave by not following the norm and if it gave the people left behind closure then it was healing for them.

      xxoo TR

      • My parents (now deceased) were wonderful people. Your comment made me think of when my mom and dad used to tell their children to ‘give the flowers while they live’. This saying comes from an old gospel song and this is so true, – I agree with you wholeheartedly. Everyone has to deal with the death of a relative or whomever in their own way because as my mother also used to say, “What good will it do to say I love you or I’m sorry when I’m gone…I won’t hear you.” Telling the truth in these situations is always best whether the truth hurts or not. Thanks for the echo! 🙂

  8. A wolf cannot stay in sheep’s clothing. I wonder if your father ever thinks back on how he has lived his life and hurt those that he should have loved. I’m sure that some family members who did not believe (or simply chose not to) will sympathize like you said because he’s sick, but think of all of the people who raised their kids with love and understanding who died sick also. We all die from something eh? The fact that he is in this condition and many have turned away from him does not mean that you wished ill…it simply means that this is what he set up for himself and he has to live and die with it. The purpose of forgiveness is so that those who were done wrong can move on without the pain of hatred and un-forgiveness eating away at their hearts – especially if we want to be forgiven for whatever we have done wrong in our own lives. However, The truth is the truth, and living by it regulates and frees the mind in my opinion.

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