Right around the same time Hate Man died — April 2, 2017 — this big tree on the campus that I had passed by a zillion times, also died. I walked by one day and it had crashed to the ground. The only thing I could figure was, it had been a particularly brutal winter — we got nearly 40 inches of rain that year — and I figured the tree must have gotten water-logged, causing it to rot out from the inside and collapse.
The synchronicity of the timing was slightly eerie. Because the same basic thing had happened to Hate Man. He finally got worn down by the endless rains of that winter, and he, too, collapsed and died.
Every time I passed that dead tree I would think of Hate Man. For, in a way, Hate Man was like a mighty oak tree that had finally fallen, too. . .
Eventually, the grounds crew grinded up that big old tree into sawdust, and spread it across the lawn. Just like Hate Man ended up grinded up into cremated ashes and spread somewhere, too.