When Someone You Dislike Dies

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    Today I heard that an old nemeses of mine died earlier this year. My initial reaction was ~ nothing. I don’t know how to react. She was my dad’s cousin and there was a bunch of family dynamic stuff going on that had nothing to do with me. She used to be my favorite person. Then I figured out that she had cast me into a family “role” that I wasn’t “fulfilling” to her liking. (That would be in a negative way.) There was a fight, and it takes a lot (A LOT) for me to show my teeth IRL.

    For years I had wanted to be successful just to prove her wrong about me. In fact, at one point I had even taken a photo of my house (before FB) thinking I could send it to her (along with pics of my gorgeous children) in the form of a Christmas card or something, in order to show: “See? SEE?? I am every bit worthy, successful, normal, deserving, awesome, etc., etc., etc.”

    I had forgotten about doing that (after FB).

    Now she’s dead.

    Part of me wonders, “Does this mean I’ve won?”

    Another part wonders, “Now that she’s dead, did all of her bad opinion of me die with her? If what she thought was true, even in her own mind, am I still the black sheep?” or, conversely, “Am I a regular grandchild of that whole generation now energetically?” Is the Evil Eye lifted? The Curse reversed? (Using evil eye and curse metaphorically here). If I was a goat among the sheep in her mind, am I back to being a regular sheep?

    Hope any of this makes sense and you know what I mean.




    Dear Inky:

    I was going to answer you earlier but got confused by the later questions you asked. I will try anew now, try answering your questions that seem to be fun to ask and maybe for me to answer:

    1) “Does this mean I’ve won?” Only if she left you money or property or her heart of gold in her will.
    2) “Did all of her bad opinion of me die with her?” Yes. (That was EASY)
    3) “Am I still the black sheep?” Inky, no part of you is a sheep. (This must be a trick question).
    4) “Am I a regular grandchild of htat whole generation…?” W>H>A>T?
    5) “Is the Evil Eye lifted?” You mean as removed from her body, put in a jar in formaledhyde? (Am I being funny yet?)
    6) “Am I back to being a regular sheep?” See number 3.

    Hey, Inky, this may not be the best answers but I am at least bumping up your post!



    Do you think it is possible that self doubt and insecurities are keeping her opinions of you alive…within you?

    Adam P

    Hey there Inky,

    Sorry if I don’t answer all of your questions, except for one which is: No.
    Nobody wins between her dissaproval of you to you trying to prove her wrong. Now all that is left is her death and you left with questions.
    As for how I can help, I can only say that if it is possible for you to attend the funeral, then do so. You may go looking to find peace and assurance and not automatically get it until after the funeral, but at least you won’t have any regrets. You know how these things go, a family member may dissaprove of you and after they die you find something of theirs that during that turmoil, they were still thinking of you, etc. Even if that is not the case, you said she used to be your favorite relative. Pay your respects and all the answers should come to you along with peace and clarity.
    Thank you and take care


    Hi Guys,

    Well, I missed the funeral, as I was a distant relative and never got the phone call. My dad may have gone, but he probably just said his respects over the phone.

    It would be like having a favorite teacher in high school and then them becoming hellish to you Senior Year. I could have internalized it, but I felt it was more of a betrayal.

    It wasn’t what she said, but how she said it and the actions surrounding it.

    And yes, energetically I had already felt what she was dishing out. It was a confirmation but it came from the wrong source in the wrong way.

    The Master Processor in me wants to write a letter, put it on her grave or burn it and/or blog about it. It will say, “Life is so much easier when we accept an apology you never received. Cousin Peggy, I forgive you.”

    Or write a list. “You were wrong and here’s why” with fifteen examples.

    Or go to a psychic who talks to dead people and talk to her/”her”.

    What do you think?

    Bethany Rosselit

    Hi Inky,

    Have you considered that, when she was alive, she had a great deal of power over you? Look at all the things you did in your life in reaction to things she said and did. Look at all you did to try and gain her approval. And have you considered that doing these things was YOUR choice. YOU gave her this power over you.

    So the question is WHY. What did her approval or disapproval mean to you? You would not have cared if you did not have self-doubts already. It is likely that you were seeking her approval as a way to validate yourself. Other people’s words and actions have no inherent meaning. All they can show is their own thought process–their own understanding (or misunderstanding!). It is our own minds that give the words meaning. If someone says something that feeds into a doubt that we already have about ourself, then our mind uses it as “evidence” for its own doubt.

    Can you see now that it was never about her? Your only conflict was within yourself. And the way to “win” is for you to learn to see your own inherent value, so that you do not need to seek it from those around you. You do not need to forgive her, you need to love (and possibly forgive) yourself.



    On an intellectual level I’ve always known what you’re saying, Bethany. Now I just have to internalize it.

    There was a lot of fighting and discord in my family and I saw her as a sort of kindred spirit. So when I felt that disconnect/disapproval it was “one more thing”.

    At the time I had my crazy, critical parents. Had just come out of a super competitive school. Had just been dumped by a boyfriend. And then The Incident with the favorite person.

    So that’s where that feeling came from.


    Dear Inky:

    It seems to me like I completely misread you, misunderstood your original post. Having the preconception that you are a funny person, humorous, I assumed your original post was meant to be funny. I had no idea you were serious. I thought you were asking the questions as entertainment, entertaining yourself and trying to entertain others.

    I am clueless about your questions at this point. For some reason I am not understanding them or your conflict. You had crazy, critical parents… I just re-read your original post, again, and I am getting this point: with your father’s cousin dying, you wonder if she won, that is, since you didn’t manage to PROVE her wrong, to send that photo and prove her wrong, you wonder if now that it is too late, if the case you were hoping to make to her – if it is lost.

    This is fascinating to me, now that I am getting some understanding as I am typing this. You are still attached to her approval, probably to your critical parents’ approval, their stamp of approval: “Inky is worthy, successful, etc.”

    People who are critical of a child, an innocent child, are people who have placed the stamp DISAPPROVED on an innocent child who wants nothing but to love and be loved, to be liked and will do anything to be liked. Placing that stamp on you when you were a child, this very act, is so very damaging to the child, to you. Not only is it damaging, it is so obscene to the concept of decency, so … unfair, not right, unjust… so against the basics of reality, of what is (the child is innocent, the child desperately wants to be liked, desperately)- it is cruel. It takes a very callous person to place that stamp on a child.

    To remove that stamp, one wants the hand behind the stamp to remove it: you stamped it, you remove it. This is understandable, to deisre it and expect it. But not realistic because it is HER callousness, her blindness, her cruelty- not your dis-approvability- that is the cause for the stamping.


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