Growing Kingdom People – “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You!”

“I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You!”


Don’t worry. This is just a title to an old Louis Armstrong song.  In the song a kind husband opened his home to a friend who was down on his luck, only to discover his friend was having an affair with his wife.

Now you understand the title.

Yet, it’s one thing to wish someone dead, and another thing entirely to celebrate a death.

Especially when it’s your own mother!

This week an obituary appeared in the “Redwood Falls Gazette”, Redwood Falls, Minnesota. The obituary was written by two children who harbored intense anger toward their mother for abandoning them as small children and leaving them in the care of her own parents.  It reads, “She abandoned her children, Gina and Jay, who were then raised by her parents…  She passed away on May 31, 2018 and will now face judgement.  She will not be missed by Gina and Jay and her children understand this world is a better place without her.”


Now that’s what I call resentment!

A lot of bad stuff comes out when people die. I once performed a graveside funeral for a man whose wife had remarried another man of whom her children disapproved.  Halfway through the service a stunt plane appeared over the cemetery and started doing spirals and loops over the grave site.  I imagine the owner of the plane thought he had been hired to honor the dead.  He didn’t realize the children were parked up the hill from the grave, celebrating their victory.

I suppose taking our hostility out on dead people (or in Louis Armstrong’s case, people we wish were dead), is one form of catharsis. But is it healthy?

Perhaps so within the context of justice, as loved ones find peace in the wake of a horrific crime. Yet, even in the case of capital punishment, once justice is served, is hatred ever a good thing to nurture after someone is dead?

I will refrain from answering this question as I allow you to ponder your answer.

Although I do have an opinion.

I merely don’t want to presume to completely understand someone else’s pain.

I only know unresolved hate is the Devil’s workshop. And the problem with hatred toward those who are dead is, we can only resolve it within.  They can’t help us.  Perhaps we will discover we were wrong and there was no reason to hate.  Then we will have to live with the guilt.

It’s simply hard to win when we hate people all the way to their graves. In fact, if they were truly evil, and we spend one moment of our time on earth resenting them, they have already won.

I don’t know Gina and Jay and I never knew their mother, but I hope they find the peace they are looking for.

Are there “rascals” in the afterlife?

I imagine so.

Which is just one more reason why we need to introduce them to Jesus in this life.

Trust me…Jesus specializes in rascals.


About LJones

Minister and story teller.
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