Murder victim family members are often told that they need closure to be able to move on with their lives. And closure will come with the execution of their loved one’s murderer. Because, it will be over when the killer pays for their heinous deeds with their life, the ultimate price. That will affect the change needed. It will lift the clouds.
It won’t. Trust me.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see her. Her chair is empty but I see her. How she sits at the front of the seat, never leaning back. Her vanity is clean but empty. I see her sitting there putting on her make up before we go out. I can still smell her perfume.
I miss her every holiday, every vacation, with every passing of a birthday or anniversary. If I close my eyes, she walks next to me. Breaths in my rhythm. But when I try to grab her hand…
The execution didn’t change anything. If at all, the execution added another nightmare to my already impressive arsenal.
Now I see him on the gurney with needles.
Now when I think of her, I see him too.
That was not the case before.
Before, I had him locked away in a separate prison that my memory build just for him. He was in there behind a thick stone wall never to be seen, touched, or spoken to again by mankind. But now, he is out there.
Now I see him.
I hear his last words and I know the smell of the witness room. I can taste it.
Closure, it is a myth. Capital punishment doesn’t help heal the soul. And now I will forever wonder what will bring me peace.
*written July 25, 2016.