Someone close got news that mattered. Her monster died. The man that molested her when she was a child passed away. She was not alone; he was a pedophile all his long miserable life. She managed to protect her sister from all but the introduction to his 'affections'. She confronted him when she was old enough to do so. She alienated distant family by warning them to guard their children. She has always felt guilt for not managing to do enough to stop him. Sadly, the people most of us depend on to protect us were no help to her. She has lived in the shadow of what happened for forty years, and now he is dead. And she is not sure how to feel about it.
I don't see her celebrating. She won't call attention to his memory or travel to grind her heel on his grave. She can't grieve him or offer solace to those who cared about him, but I've heard her consider what drives someone to that sort of addiction. She wonders if his 'illness' was inflicted by a previous generation, and if other family was involved or victimized. She wonders if he suffered Karmic retribution or guilt. She believes in the power of forgiveness. But she can't. Even in death.
She describes being "ruined", his taking something precious he didn't deserve. Her love relationships have been rocky, and she understands that HER choices were to blame, but can't help the discomfort her introduction to intimacy caused. I've seen her reaction to the place where it happened, and I don't think her mind has blocked anything, though she doesn't talk details, and I don't ask.
She opened up more to me than she ever has when she heard he'd died. She'd like to care. She'd like to stop hating. She'd like to forgive, at least those who should have shielded her from him. She'd like to forget. But his death seemed to just stir the old emotions.
All I could suggest was to be thankful for the future. He can't hurt anyone else. Times have changed and folks don't sweep psychopaths under the carpet like they used to. Allowing him to occupy her thought empowers him, even in death. Maybe some day she will understand what drove him, or those who wouldn't stop him. But dwelling or forgiving isn't necessary. There is so much positive in her world now to busy her.
She is a caring and nurturing partner in a ten year stable relationship. She is aware of her trust and intimacy issues, and is dealing with them, finally. She has special bonds with her children and has a second grandchild on the way. She creates art in the kitchen, and has embraced the technologies she feared, even blogging and skyping with joy. She is appreciating her own health, getting baseline tests and watching her figure. She is funny, and capable, and generous. And now the evil in her mind's closet is dead. She may not be able to celebrate, but I am. I will celebrate that she is wonderful, and capable of overcoming what he did to her so long ago. Ding, dong.