Until that person dies. When someone dies, they take with them the bad as well as the good.
There were years that my father drove me crazy and I was not gracious about it. I wanted him to be different and he wasn't and I was mean. When he died, I remember thinking whew, now no one will know what a horrible daughter I was to an old man. It's not true, of course, I know but still... When my Mom died, again, I knew no one would ever now find out how ridiculously stupid I was when I was a teenager and how I disappointed both my parents in so many ways. Yes, I made them proud mostly but not always. But, now that they are gone, and so is that shameful history.
I was probably the worst wife in the history of wives. I knew the marriage was a mistake instantly. Like that evening after our wedding. Seriously. I knew it. And I did nothing. Well, no, not nothing. I went on for about 2 and a half years making me and everyone around me miserable. It was mean and selfish and really ridiculous. I was a grown woman. 30 years old. I was educated with resources and still I was horrible.
And now the victim of my torture is dead and cannot testify against me. Seriously, part of me really does feel that.
If I live long enough, I can maybe achieve sainthood. (arugh to both of those things, by the way)
Also there's a downside - besides people you love not being around - when my friend, John, died, he took with him my only proof that I ever bungy jumped. There are no photos or videos of it. It was in New Zealand, just me and him. He bet me $100 (American, not New Zealand) that I wouldn't do it. I collected. But, now, there's only my word on the whole thing...