Family Who Wrote "Viral Obituary" Wanted to Finally Have the "Last Word".
The internet has been buzzing for the last 2 days over a Minnesota woman's obituary. 80-year-old Kathleen Dehmlow had her life's summary published in the Redwood Falls Gazette and it gave her more recognition in death than she had in life. Dehmlow's two children, Gina and Jay, took their mother's passing as an opportunity to tell the world what they really thought of her. Read the obituary, in it's entirety, below.
Everyone who read the startling obituary thought that it was a cruel joke but, it absolutely wasn't! It was so harsh that it was actually rejected from a Springfield newspaper because it was "too offensive" to print.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail:
"Retired army veteran and former professional boxer Jay Dehmalo, 58, explained why he and his older sister, Gina, 60, had felt moved to publish such an obituary."
'You can't believe the dysfunction of the family,' said Dehmalo, who now lives in Avon Lake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. 'They'll never know what we went through but it helped us [to write this]. We wanted to finally get the last word.'
It was Gina's idea to write the obituary when she learned from a cousin that her mother was on her deathbed.
She had no desire to see her but asked for a picture that was duly published along with the words penned by her brother.
The obituary, which ultimately appeared exactly as he wrote it, was actually rejected by one Springfield newspaper on the grounds that it was too offensive to print.
But according to Dehmalo - who changed his last name to distance himself from his past and his family - his mother's abandonment was so complete that childhood friends have reached out to him on reading the obit shocked to discover his mother wasn't already dead.
He said: 'I've got calls from buddies who've said, "We didn't know she'd left you. We thought she'd died in a car crash or something".'
Dehmalo, a father of one, admitted that he and his sister Gina had had 'reservations' about going through with the obituary - conscious that it could stir up the ill feeling that has clearly stalked this family through the decades."
Kathleen's surviving sister didn't think the obituary was in good taste, calling it "nasty" and remarking that it "hurt the family tremendously."
Kathleen's children, raised by her parents, were left in the dark about much of their parents lives and only began to piece together information years later. As it turns out, Kathleen had TWO children with their uncle Lyle, both boys, that her first set of children knew nothing about until years after their births.
Dehmalo admits that much of their childhood is unbelievable and he even gave a brief account of molestation, jealousy within the extended family and a nasty fall out after his grandparents death over inheritance money.
"To add insult to injury, Dehmalo said that while he and his sister were unhappily abandoned in Minnesota their mother was, 'off having a great life in California with her other kids'.
He said, 'We didn't have so much as a card from her. I remember she came home twice and on one occasion she was showing pictures of her and her kids playing cards, drinking beers…
'Gina and I were standing in the room, just standing there and she didn't even acknowledge us. It's like we didn't exist.
'How can you do that to your own children? That's when we knew we had to get the hell out of Minnesota.
'Their mother returned in her last years to Minnesota, after Lyle died in California in 2008, aged 71. Dennis died in Washington State in 2016.
Dehmalo credits the Army and boxing with 'saving him'. Gina is now married and living in Florida where she works as a cleaner. Things have not been easy.
But both are glad to have published their truth about their mother. They would, they say, do it all over again.Dehmalo said: 'We knew there would be backlash but it really has helped us to finally get the last word."
I guess everyone grieves and handles their emotional healing in different ways. Do you think this method went to far or would you have put even more of her business in the streets?