I am part of the killing machine.
perhaps one way or another,
we all are.
there have been moments over the past couple years where I have felt stronger regarding all of this. perhaps there's a
long-awaited healing finally taking place. it's something like a wave washing over me, surprisingly warm, graceful and serene.
I surrender to it. I accept it. I welcome it. it brings me a stolen moment of peace... and from this, a tiny glimmer of hope,
shimmers... a simple perfect light, extending itself to me, which I graciously accept and hold, often times wearily, right
in the palm of my hand.
one simple, peaceful ray of hope within an indescribable tragedy
sometimes, however, a familiar darkness slips in, gripping me unmercifully... wraps tightly around me... suffocates...
shocks and stuns and rattles me, right to the core... paralyzing horror... immobilizing, as it shatters my heart, yet again...
still... over and over... and suddenly, I'm back there...
standing with Harry*... talking softly with him... choking back my tears, to a smile... feeling the warmth of his hand
over mine... together, taking part in this very real, very devastating, soul-impaling experience...
it's time, they told us.
his time. our time. one more time. one more 'I love you'. one more... just one more...
I stood by and watched helplessly as the warden gave the signal... harry's eyes locked on mine, as his heart and lungs
were deliberately slowed by the cocktail of death dripping into his veins. his eyes fluttered, opened and shut, trying to
focus... is he trying to find me, I wondered... I'm here, I said... I'm with you... he smiled, a faint smile... and began
to drift... and then he
four minutes to die.
four minutes to stand by and helplessly watch him die.
four minutes to die.
serving harry this way, at his execution, was overwhelming on infinite levels, for infinite reasons. however, to me this
remains a life-long blessing beyond words, a blessing beyond compare...
harry gave me a tremendous gift. not only did he bless me by way of his friendship and genuine sense of caring during
his years on death row, but he openly accepted my love.
he trusted me. he let me in. we respected one another. we came to accept, appreciate and love each other, without conditions
we formed a friendship, a solid bond -- a loving, mutual appreciation... from the day he asked if I would serve as his
spiritual advisor throughout the years of correspondence, to the visits to death row, right up to our walk to the death house,
where we stood, talking close, huddled together right at death's door
on the day of harry's execution, he wrote out a card to me. when I arrived back home to maine, it was waiting in my mailbox.
it was so wonderful to see you again! you are such a beautiful person, beautiful to me and to so many others here who
love you. I want to thank you very much for being here for me, through all this, and for being with me today. thank you for
being such a special and wonderful person. I hope I can continue to be here for you as well, but no matter what happens, you
will always be special to me. take care of yourself and I hope I will be able to write you again. I love you, my dear friend.
with lots of love, harry"
but he was already dead...
there's just so much
emotion connected to these memories for me...
but these memories are becoming more and more delicate and fragile as the time passes. they are fading a bit, yes. I fear
they may one day crumble like ancient pottery, turn to dust, blow away, return to the nothingness... to be forgotten. forever...
I can't let them go. I won't let them go. I won't forget. they have shredded me, ripped me, poisoned me, devastated me,
horrified and disgusted me.
they still haunt me, assault me, and wound me. but I need them. somehow, I need them...
to help me remember...
to help me heal...
I have made a home for these demons... with me, here, in my heart, in my soul. I will keep them with me, always... alive...
when harry takes my hand,
the vile demons will melt and float away
(* his name has been changed here, respecting the privacy of the families and friends involved.)