A woman in the United States wrote a scathing obituary about her “violent, hateful, and cruel” mother.
According to The Independent, the obituary for Linda Lernal Harvey Cullum Smith Stull, which has been taken down, was written by her 54-year-old daughter Gayle Harvey Heckman. In the obituary, Ms Gayle accused her mother of a series of abuses and wrongdoings.
“As a mother, Lernal was violent, hateful, and cruel. She physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally, and financially abused Gayle,” the obituary read.
“Lernal accused Gayle of ‘trying to steal her husband’ and proceeded to beat her senselessly,” the obituary continued. “Gayle and her family forgive Lernal and hope that she has found peace. They also hope to find peace within themselves. Lernal will not be missed by Gayle or her family. They all understand the world is a much better place without her,” the piece concluded, as per the outlet.
The obituary was published in Three Rivers News three days after Ms Lernal’s death on December 12. The following day, the paper wrote, “This obituary was significantly shortened due to it just being a spiteful hate piece against a beloved member of our community”. The publication also revealed that Ms Gayle is Ms Lernal’s first child.
Ms Gayle, on the other hand, explained why she wrote the obituary. According to the New York Post, the 54-year-old said, “Well, honestly, I wanted to write it for myself because I wanted to clear my name. For 24 years and before that, my mother has had to come up with a reason as to why her daughter isn’t in her life that doesn’t make her look like a monster. … I had to reclaim my name,” she said.
Ms Gayle also stated that she wasn’t trying to be “hateful” when she wrote the obituary but was expressing that she was “angry”. “I don’t understand if we don’t talk about this, how are we supposed to… break the cycle of trauma, especially generational trauma,” she explained.
Mike Wilcox, publisher of Wilcox Newspapers, said the obit ran in the print edition of Three Rivers on December 15. “It was submitted through our website, and was published without a good look on our part,” he said. “We took it down from (the) website after complaints about its content poured in. After taking (it) down, several (mostly the daughter) complaints and phone calls were received admonishing us for doing so,” Mr Wilcox added.