Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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De mortuis nil nisi bonum

A few years ago someone I knew died after a cruel illness. When I heard about it, I found I had two instant reactions, both equally strong. One was "Thank the stars, she's never going to hurt me or any of my friends ever again." The other was "Now she'll never be able to change. She can't ever do anything to make things better. She might have turned into a decent person, and I'm grieved that's been taken away."

I hated her. That's not something you'll hear me say about many people. She was cruel, malicious, violent, abusive, vindictive, a rapist. She hurt me, she hurt some of the best people I know, and it was deliberate, willful hurt. I used to dream of everything she'd done to people being done to her. Sometimes in the hope she'd realise and reform; mostly just that she'd suffer.

Yet she wasn't all bad. She was smart, funny, capable of cutting through bullshit with a well-chosen word. She fought for the things she believed in. People who saw only that good side of her adored her. She had many good friends in many places, and they weren't wrong in valuing what they knew of her.

I couldn't speak out while she was alive; she knew too much about too many people, and she'd have used what I said to hurt people even more in revenge. But when she was dead? What good could it have done? She wasn't there to warn people against any more. Telling what she'd done would have required airing too many people's secrets. All I could have done was to inform people that they hadn't known everything about her, and so tarnished the fond memories that so many people had of her. You'll note I still don't mention her name, exactly for that reason.

I'm still angry with her, years on. But she's gone, and there's nothing more to do or say.
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  • Catchup...

    I should have posted this earlier, but, what with one thing and another, this has been quite a busy week. If you weren't at Warwick Arts Centre last…

  • There's nothing quite so much fun as wonky hearing.

    It was only yesterday that I discovered that the lyrics to Enigma's Mea Culpa part II don't in fact contain the words "Branle-moi; je suis sur…

  • Portico Quartet

    This is mostly a heads-up to people in and around Coventry, but the Portico Quartet are playing at Warwick Arts Centre on 20 th March at 8pm.…