A “grandparent alienation” Facebook page posted this image in support of a grandmother who was estranged from her grandchildren:
The prayer is, “God, please kill my daughter-in-law so I can see my granddaughters again.”
Let’s go through all the different levels of wrong.
First, the grandmother thought that dropping by the house of 4- and 5-year-old granddaughters she hadn’t been allowed to contact in at least a year was going to end in anything but tears.
Second, she did it on a holiday. It didn’t matter to her that she was spoiling other people’s holiday, it was all about making the holiday special for herself.
Third, she wished death on her daughter-in-law. Not a frustrated “Arrgh, just die!” wish that really means “go away and stop being a pain,” but an actual, thought-through desire for her daughter-in-law to die so she could see her granddaughters.
Fourth, she wrote it down. In a prayer. She actually asked God to kill her daughter-in-law.
Fifth, immediately after wishing death upon her daughter-in-law, she addressed a message to her granddaughters. Her mind is so compartmentalized that it doesn’t occur to her that if the girls see the second part of the message, they’ll see the first part, too, and the entire message means, “I want your mommy to die so you and I can see each other.” It doesn’t occur to her that the little girls love their mother After all, the grandmother doesn’t love the mother. She doesn’t feel that losing her daughter-in-law would mean losing the person at the center of her world, the person she relies on for safety, warmth, and love. Why would her granddaughters feel any differently? And why would they think badly of the woman who wanted them half-orphaned?
Fifth, the grandmother shared her message with the world, openly and without shame. She expected other people to think it was perfectly understandable and acceptable that she’d want her daughter-in-law to die.
Sixth, she wasn’t wrong. Another estranged grandparent turned her words into a meme and shared them on another page as a show of support. The other grandparent deletes any critical comments, because it’s hurtful and insulting to suggest that maybe “Kimberly K.” shouldn’t be publicly asking God to kill her daughter-in-law.
I can already hear the objections: “She said it out of desperation. You can’t understand what it’s like until you’ve been estranged from the grandchildren you love.”
That’s not love.
Love means putting the other person’s well-being ahead of your own. It means being able to see the world from their perspective. It means having empathy for them.
Deciding that solely because a child’s parent doesn’t give you what you want, that parent deserves to lose their life… That’s not love. That’s gross selfishness. Assuming that a child would rather have occasional visits from you than the love of their mother… That’s not empathy. That’s monstrous self-centeredness.
Reading this “prayer” and thinking nothing but, “Oh, the poor grandmother, she’s in such pain”?
The thought of people who already have such thoughts of their own. The thought of monsters.