It’s hard not to chuckle at times when reading random obituaries. Everyone is portrayed as a loving father, a devoted son, or a beloved mom. Of course, in real life, we know these accolades don’t always match up with the truth, and one Reno, Nevada man and his sister recently decided to eschew the polite post-death recap and tell their version of the truth when it came to their actual relationship with their now-deceased mother.
The woman in question, Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, apparently had never been up for any Mother of the Year awards, to say the very least. And her now-grown children, Patrick and Katherine, decided it was time to tell the truth after a lifetime of deceit and covering for her cruelty to them.
“Everyone she met, adult or child, was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit,” said the no-holds-barred obituary, which Patrick and Katherine hoped would shine a light on the troubling issue of parental abuse.
“. . . we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children,” they went on in the startling, but likely cathartic, newspaper sendoff.
To illustrate the obituary was not just meant to be a revengeful last word, but rather a conversation starter about unfit parents, the obit ended: “Our greatest wish now is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”
What spurred such hateful comments from Marianne’s own progeny? The siblings say she beat them constantly while running her own home-based brothel, and Katherine, Patrick, and an additional four siblings were all finally sent to foster care.
Echoing the infamous line from The Wizard of Oz after the house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East, Patrick even told friends when his mother died that “ding dong, the witch is dead.” He claimed that even in her final hours, her vitriol and hatred was so intense, that doctors had to sedate the woman to keep her from beating up her own grown son.
While Marianne may now be dead, her horrible legacy will likely live on in all her children for the rest of their lives, and subsequently, even affect their offspring, who may never have been exposed directly to her cruelty.
If you know anyone who is suffering at the hands of an abusive parent, please contact your local law enforcement or child protective services agency.
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