I could not help but feel a dark cloud lift when the news broke that Fred Phelps had finally died. I’m not particularly proud of that first reaction: one of relief and even something akin to happiness. I didn’t dance around the house right away, but after the news sank in, I admit I did pull up “Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead,” by the munchkins.
Why would my reaction be considered hateful or negative? I think it was extremely human and natural, if not a bit disrespectful. Like I care if Fred knows I have zero respect for him?
I never imagined that Fred would die like this: alone in a hospice, rejected by much of his family, excommunicated from the cult/church he founded. I expected one of two different stories when his obituary was published.