Someone who made me really unhappy when I was a kid is dying.
The unhappiness was significant. I still feel effects from it today and I don't doubt it shaped my view of the world. The dying sucks. It is in a way not physically painful, but a process of watching one's body slowly break down around one. He has lost most of the use of his hands. He can barely talk and walking around seems difficult for him. Ironically, he countinues to manage to smoke somehow. I'd give him a year, tops, though I would have said that last year.
And I'm finding that the suffering I went through a long time ago and the suffering he's going through now don't have any relationship to one another in my head. I feel bad for myself as a kid and in some ways want to tell him off, but that would be a profoundly pointless thing to do at this juncture, so I'm not going to. I mostly pity him.
Watching this happen isn't fun for me. And part of me wonders, "why not?" Shouldn't there be some tiny satisfaction in knowing that he can only, for example, think hateful things and not say them? Shouldn't I be happy, just a little?
He did some good things too, perhaps my feelings are more complex than just a simple longing to get back at somebody. At the same time, when I think about him, I mostly think about the things that he did that sucked.
And it's weird. I've always been against the death penalty. At the same time, I thought I understood the father of the victim who wants to see the death of the guy who killed his little girl.
Now, I'm finding I don't understand it at all.