Woman slams her "cruel" mother in scathing obituary

Woman slams her “cruel” mother in scathing obituary

Woman slams her "cruel" mother in scathing obituary

A Michigan woman bade farewell to her dead mother by writing a scathing obituary where she called her mum “violent, hateful, and cruel”.

Gayle Harvey Heckman accused her mom, Linda Lernal Harvey Cullum Smith Stull, who died on Dec. 12, 2023, of condoning sexual assault against her, as well as lying about who her biological father was, the Sturgis Journal reported.

She revealed so many skeletons in the closet that the publisher had to remove the obituary from the Three Rivers news site after readers complained about its shocking contents.

“Well, honestly, I wanted to write it for myself because I wanted to clear my name,” Heckman told the Journal on Thursday, Dec. 21.

“For 24 years and before that, my mother has had to come up with a reason as to why her daughter isn’t in her life that doesn’t make her look like a monster. … I had to reclaim my name,” she told the outlet.

Heckman held nothing back in the obituary about her departed mother.

“As a mother, Lernal was violent, hateful, and cruel. She physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally, and financially abused Gayle,” the print obituary states, according to the outlet.

It also names one alleged abuser, an ex-husband of her mom’s whom the Journal did not identify.


Woman slams her "cruel" mother in scathing obituary

“Lernal accused Gayle of ‘trying to steal her husband’ and proceeded to beat her senselessly,” the obit reportedly says.

“Gayle and her family forgive Lernal and hope that she has found peace,” it reads.

But the obituary concludes, “Lernal will not be missed by Gayle or her family. They all understand the world is a much better place without her.”
Heckman said she found it cathartic to write the obituary.


“I wasn’t trying to be hateful, I genuinely … don’t have any hate. I am angry,” she told the Journal. “I don’t understand if we don’t talk about this, how are we supposed to break the cycle of trauma, especially generational trauma.”

Mike Wilcox, publisher of Wilcox Newspapers, said the obituary ran in the print edition of Three Rivers on Dec. 15.

“It was submitted through our website, and was published without a good look on our part,” he wrote the Journal in an email.

“We took it down from (the) website after complaints about its content poured in. After taking (it) down, several (mostly the daughter) complaints and phone calls were received admonishing us for doing so,” Wilcox wrote.

Heckman said she was disappointed that he pulled the obituary, adding that she and her husband only called the publisher twice.

She added that many people have reached out to her with their own stories of abuse.

“I’m 54 years old and the internet, piece by piece, people were leaving love,” the daughter told the outlet. “And I could feel my heart … the hole in my heart starting to fill.”

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