“This world is a better place without her.”
It’s about the worst thing someone can say about you after death and the reason Kathleen Dehmlow‘s obituary went viral this week.
People don’t usually look through the somber newspaper section expecting to see such hardcore shade, so the Internet went wild after someone shared the brief obit from Monday’s Redwood Falls Gazette on Twitter.
Paragraph 1: ok
Paragraph 2: ok
Paragraph 3: wait
Paragraph 4: OH
Paragraph 5: *airplane flies overhead with a banner reading WELCOME TO HELL MOM* pic.twitter.com/ppV45htrda
— Stu (@RandBallsStu) June 5, 2018
Yeah, that definitely gets dark.
So what’s the story behind it??
DailyMail.com tracked down one of the “abandoned children” to whom the post refers, 58-year-old Army vet and retired boxer Jay Dehmalo.
Jay explained this provided him and his elder sister Gina some catharsis after many decades without a mother:
“You can’t believe the dysfunction of the family. They’ll never know what we went through but it helped us [to write this]. We wanted to finally get the last word.”
He said posting the obit was Gina’s idea; when she’d heard their mother was on her deathbed rather than last-minute forgiveness, she looked for a recent photo to submit to the paper along with her “last word.”
The post was refused by the first paper they tried and later deleted from the Redwood Falls Gazette website after complaints (though of course it still exists in print).
According to Dehmalo, the kids’ grandparents finally took them in after Kathleen abandoned them and their father was unfit to raise them. Cousin Lyle Schunk confirmed:
“They took them in because Kathleen was evidently an unfit mother or something. Kathleen liked to drink as well, she liked to party as well.”
The hardship of their childhood, which he says “people wouldn’t believe,” obviously did enduring damage. Dehmalo says they were “bad kids”; his sister has been convicted twice of domestic violence charges.
Meanwhile, he says their mother was “off having a great life in California with her other kids” — two half-brothers he and Gina found out about years later.
Kathleen’s surviving sister Judy called the obit “nasty” and said it “hurt the family tremendously” — she thought the dark chapter should have been left out:
“Why do people want to talk about it? It’s not important.”
Two kids aren’t important? Hmm.
Definitely seems too harsh for an obit, but without all the sides and with so little detail we won’t provide the “judgement” Kathleen will face — but we will say this:
Remember this obit the next time you burn bridges. Because you don’t get to write your story; the survivors do.
What do YOU think of these kids getting “the last word” on their mother??[Image via Redwood Falls Gazette/Twitter.]