Tuesday, May 3, 2011


All the celebrations make me very uncomfortable. Something about celebrating someone's death seems wrong, even if he killed my family, even if it was Hitler. There's too much vengeance. People keep calling it justice, but it's not. Not really. Justice is about making sure people get what they deserve. Vengeance is about delighting in the suffering of another person. 

Do I hope Osama suffered? The part of me that rages does. That part hopes his fingernails were pulled off one by one before his eyeballs were repeatedly burned and his balls were sliced off. The other part of me just hopes he can't hurt anyone else. Can't encourage anyone else to hurt more people. I hope that hell for Osama bin Laden is being tied to a chair with spikes and having to watch me prancing around the city every day wearing tank tops that show my bra straps with low-rise jeans on the days I'm not wearing a denim miniskirt. I hope it makes him twitch. 

Even that though, won't make me smell my nana's gravy again. I can make it, but it doesn't smell the same. Mine just smells like tomato sauce; hers smelled like proper gravy. When I'm laying in bed I can keep brainstorming ways to torture him, but it won't let me feel how soft my mom's skin was. It won't keep me from thinking of her skin burning when she was dying and how much it hurts that I have to hope some heavy part of a building just knocked her out so she didn't feel fire. 

Justice is great, and fair. It seems like they just went in fast and shot him dead. No drawn-out, prolonged suffering. Nobody told him, "This punch to the gut is from Sam and her family." I wonder if when he realized he was going to die, if he was satisfied with all the people who died because of him and was happy, or panicked feeling like he wasn't finished destroying families.


Tam said...

”I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King Jr

I agree with your post ~ all the celebrating just seems wrong to me. Take care. T

~C~ said...

I love the quote that Tam left on your page, and I love what you said here. I feel the same way, even though I haven't experienced what you have.
What have Americans gained by acting like pompous assholes in the past?

Anonymous said...

I think rejoicing in his death is a cathartic moment for Americans. It binds us closer and serves a purpose. Some people are pure evil and do not deserve to live, in my opinion. It reinforces the belief in Karma and in some "order" in the universe.

Zephyr said...

The world may be better with one psycho gone, but there may just be numerous psycho followers ready to take over where he left off. I hope the world becomes a better place, I really do, but I just can't find it in me to celebrate anyone's death. Vengeance is a hollow victory... it doesn't make anything right from the past, as you well know.

Nina said...

I posted that quote on my facebook page and somebody pointed out that's not actually MLK. Weird that someone came up with it and then decided to attribute it to MLK and then it soread across the internets. (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/05/out-of-osamas-death-a-fake-quotation-is-born/238220/)

For me, I just felt relief. Relief that he won't try to incite murder ever again. Relief that he is gone. But celebration...not really. I agree with that quote - even if he's horrible and evil, he's still human, with everything that comes with. But I think I get the symbolic value of his death for Americans too and why some people feel like celebrating. It's catharsis.

Thanks for sharing Sam.

Nina said...

Okay, sorry to hijack your comments with stuff about that quote. It is actually partly an MLK quote. Full quote from "Strength to Love": "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate... cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says "Love your enemies," he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition....The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Lil'Sis said...

I agree with you Sam, it's a really good post.

Anonymous said...


I have been reading your blog for 2 years, but this is the first time I'm posting. I wanted to say that your entry today is beautiful, wise, and moving.

Also, I have been wondering this for a while: have you ever thought of trying to write and publish a book about your life with your sisters since 2001? I am a college professor and an avid reader/writer and I think you're incredibly gifted. One of your blog readers might even have contacts/ideas about publishers... Just a thought.

All the best,

Jane said...

I can't be sorry he's dead; I just wish he had never been born. For one man, gifted with intelligence and power, to misuse his gifts with so much evil intent makes me sad. I can't go out in the streets and celebrate like we just won a football game. This is so much larger.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Beautifully written and incredibly insightful and introspective post, Sam. Keep writing.

Your descriptions of your Nana's gravy and your Mom's skin are so real.

I'm sorry they got your family, and I'm relieved that he can kill no more, but like you I do not rejoice in his death.

Thinking of you,

em. said...

Poignant and wise beyond your years. Than you for sharing.


Chris said...

Sam, I initially wanted to leave a comment on vengeance Vs justice on your other post, but changed my mind. I'm so glad I did, because you said it all so beautifully, a lot better than I would have.

I've often thought about the book idea (I think most of your readers did, because you are truly talented), and part of me wants you to be unbelievably successful and universally praised. But I also think a lot of the charm of this blog is that even though you give us some details, you value your privacy and that of your sisters'. And I would hate it if random people ever felt they had the right to review and question your writing and intentions, or even your life, if this became a book. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic/selfish, but I think such a thing should come later. Could be wrong about it, of course.

Purplefroglet said...

I agree, obviously I can't imagine how you feel about it, but I can't celebrate his death. I come from a country which has been attacked enough times by enough people to realise that he is just one of many, even if he had a high profile.

I can't celebrate his death, it doesn't seem to gain anything at this point, but I can hope that it'll stop more people from following him and that's the important thing. Hope you're doing ok with it all.