What if the dying person has become a better person with time, as many do, and there's an opportunity for closure if you offer a kind note?
Maybe it's not closure you need. So be it.
However, I just want to suggest it's not always true to assume people who were 'evil' as children/young adults are still 'evil', that perhaps there wasn't a reason for their 'evil-ness', and it may not also be true, always, that contact with them isn't good for them and you.
Also bullied as a kid, so was twin sis. I got over it, she still hasn't.
Forgiveness? God knows what you are thinking, he knows if you're sorry or not. No need to get a third party involved.
And sometimes, Karma really is a bitch.
Sis had her chief childhood tormentor send her a "friend" request on FB, Sis said it made her feel physically ill. Through a mutual acquaintance, the childhood bully wanted to say "sorry". Sis told her to go F-herself and amazingly, felt better and somewhat empowered by it.
When I was in junior high I met my nemesis and had to deal with him for 6 years. Our last names are just one letter off alphabetically - so we had our lockers next to each other through high school graduation (where of course, I had to sit next to him. )
What he did to me in junior high would today be considered sexual harassment. And it wasn't just me - other girls had the same experience. It really affected me for those first 2 years until I learned to ignore him or fight back. By the end of high school I had learned how to get back at him and deal with him better in general. My favorite trick was to break the handle off his locker so he couldn't open it.
Anyway, one summer when I was home from college and working as a nanny, I ran in to him at the pool. He actually came up and apologized to me and said that he regretted how he had treated me. Wow! Soooo nice right? I guess I should have been grateful huh?
I told him to eff off.
Same thing when he wanted to be Facebook friends. Really? There are some things that just can't be undone. I'm sure it would make him feel better to know I forgive him. But I don't. Sorry if that makes me a bad person, but I don't really give a rat's ass about him. Or his feelings.
. . .
It's not as if I've been stewing over this for 30 years; I hadn't even given the kid a thought in years until tonight. Mom suggested that perhaps given the circumstances I could "forgive and forget". Well, even God doesn't forgive unless someone asks for it. I'd rather just go on as always; really, his passing won't affect me one way or another.
Does this make me some kind of monster?????
You're not a monster.
You said it very eloquently yourself - - God does not forgive unless someone asks for it.
I went through a serious situation 20 years ago where I had a female stalker who was mentally deranged. Long story short, there were constant phone calls at all hours of the day and night at home, at my work, to my circle of friends, to my family. The police were, in this instance, very aggressive with her and got things stopped. Nevertheless, it does give your self-confidence and nerves quite a rattling. My very good friend, who I was rooming with at the time, gave me some very useful, honest advice. She said, "You are not the one whose responsibility it is to offer the olive branch. You can, however, forgive someone within yourself so you have your own peace of mind and then move forward with your life. If the person who wronged you offers an olive branch and apologizes and it is a genuine apology, then you can tell them they are forgiven. But even with that, you do not have to let that person back in your life."
Forgiveness is not the doorway to creating and/or renewing a friendship that was ruined. Forgiveness is just a way of moving forward with your own life.
OP in your case, you didn't even have a friendship with this person to begin with, so you are under no obligation to do anything at all. Just, within yourself, do what you need to do in order to move on and have peace in your life, because just having this conversation has opened your old wound. Letting it stew can eat you alive.
I just want to suggest it's not always true to assume people who were 'evil' as children/young adults are still 'evil', that perhaps there wasn't a reason for their 'evil-ness'
This, however... OP, you are no monster and you owe him nothing. Especially since he has not reached out to you.
I got called horseface too by this one kid through elementary and middle school. It made me start to be secretive about the fact that I loved horses and riding. To this day, I still try not to talk too much about horses. Anyway, at my 10 year highschool reunion, he came up to me and apologized. He said that as an adult he remembered the things he used to call me and how it really wasn't nice and that he was sorry. He went on to ask if I was still involved with horses and seemed genuinely happy to hear that I was/am still riding. I was shocked. But I accepted his apology and we sat and chatted for a bit.
I can understand others not accepting their bully's apology, but honestly, it really might have been weighing on on that person's mind for a long time. I said something really mean to the wife of one of DH's best friends when I was going through a really rough patch and it ate at me for about 2 years until I saw her again in person and apologized. She thanked me and we moved on, but I felt so much better that I maybe had righted that wrong. So maybe the former bully needs that closure too.
This is not the case for the OP, of course since he has not reached out to apologize and so I think she doesn't even owe him another thought.
I was friends with the daughter of one of my mother's closest friends, best friends in the beginning, and then in about the 7th grade she began to turn on me mean girl style until by the time 8th grade rolled around, it was pretty hellish.
She was jealous and angry and in a desperate state to out do me. I just started ignoring her and extracting myself. But once a year or so she would swan in with some drama (she's in AA, no wait its OA, no wait she been diagnosed bipolar, no wait . . . ). She dropped out of her masters degree program to pursue a career as a plus sized model, etc etc.
The girl's Mom is lovely, and I do care about her(the Mom), which has made it awkward because honestly I don't want to spend anytime with her daughter . She's negative, jealous, and unstable. But, the Mom thinks ill be a good influence on her. My Mom is bummed, and tries to put some pressure on me, but not too bad. It's just . . . Awkward.
However, I'm a karma kind of person. I worry about mine--not anyone elses'.
I believe people can change and that most childhood bullies likely had their own issues. I might be inclined to send a card. Just as I would a stranger/friend of a friend who needed a little cheering up on a difficult day.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Why not be the bigger person and offer an act of kindness to a dying person? Light is the only way to extinguish the darkness in this world and I choose to be the light.
I do not know anyone who was NOT bullied as a child in one way or another. I for one choose to move forward and put it behind me. And putting it behind me means offering kindness to all around me, even if they have hurt or harmed me in the past.
As someone who underwent an extended painful interaction with someone who then passed away from a terminal illness, I can say that I wish I had forgiven him to his face. He came to me once and asked for forgiveness. I didn't make a big deal of it but I was clear with him that I had not forgiven him for the things he had done to me.
I never saw him alive again and it still bothers me today. I don't think anyone can say what is right for you as an individual but thought I would share my perspective. I desperately wish I could have that closure. I wish I could have looked into his eyes and said that I forgave him not because he deserved me forgiveness but because I was giving to him as a gift.
Nope, I'd be saying the same thing. You don't owe squat to anyone that was horrid to you at any point in your life because they're about to croak.
Feel sorry for THEM when they caused physical and emotional pain? Yea no, I call it karma, sweet sweet karma.
I can't help but gleefully giggle when my bullies pop up on my newsfeed and are complaining about one of their many baby daddy's or about their dead end jobs (oh and bragging about smoking a blunt) Another form of poetic justice.
If one of my bullies apologized to me (I mean seriously apologized, nothing half-assed) perhaps I would forgive them, perhaps not, depends on who it was and what they did. Some I could forgive but others, no way!
Screw always "being the bigger person" some people don't deserve any shred of forgiveness or "understanding", especially if they did such horrid things in high school, yea they were still immature, but at 17-18 you sure as hell should know better than to beat on someone or say nasty things to them/about them.
I don't buy the "kids will be kids" crap. This is learned behavior and sometimes even encouraged. Perhaps we should start fining the parents of chronic bullies? I 100% support laws charging kids that bully someone so merciless, that they kill themselves. Same for school administrators and parents who are well aware but do nothing.
May the good Lord protect my children if I EVER hear that they are bullying someone!
Yeah for social media that everybody is in everybody's business these days.
I had nobody bully me in school (we were still able to settle thing the old fashioned way, and I took advantage of that) but there were people with whom I simply had no interaction once the diplomas were handed out.
Why bother to send a cart 'heard you were dying, too bad'
It would be a different situation if the guy had asked the OP for forgiveness. He probably doesn't remember nor care.
I think it's ok to not make peace with a virtual stranger one had not contact with. Just because you are in the same school picture does not mean a thing.
Originally Posted by Bristol Bay
Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
Thanks for all of the input. I'm truly touched that some of you have shared your own stories. These kids who perpetrate this kind of verbal (and physical) abuse and torment have no idea of the long-term effect their actions have.
For a long time I wouldn't wear turtleneck shirts without a sweater over them because I got made fun of for wearing turtlenecks a lot. So I quit. Then a couple of years ago I was getting dressed for work and looking for something to wear over my blue cotton turtleneck shirt.
I suddenly thought, "Wait. I'm actually going to wear more clothing than the weather dictates because Brad and Cyndi (yes, she spelled it that way) made fun of my turtlenecks THIRTY YEARS AGO!?!?!?!? Just NO!" I'd been subconsciously avoiding wearing turtlenecks by themselves for three decades - I'd long since stopped considering the reason why or thinking of these jerks by name. It had become automatic.
And so I took back my turtlenecks! A small psychological victory, but dang it did feel good! Maybe I should start a movement.
I still don't feel at all motivated to make any kind of gesture towards this guy. What I might do, though, is send his mom a card at some point. She is/was a nice lady and I am pretty sure she didn't know how her kid treated others; like someone else said, very often victims don't say a word.