Caring and Common Sense
This was a Process Analysis assignment for college, so the 2nd and 3rd person references are really stilted. I don't like the way things flow like that, but rules are rules. I had this stored in my Yahoo account along with a mass of other private work, but they cleared my account for inactivity despite being logged in daily. This was one of my favorites, so I was lucky enough to find it saved elsewhere.
Someone once asked me how to handle oneself when a person one lives with is about to go to the electric chair.
The first thing you want to do is make some calls and send out letters. This is just common sense. Others who know the person will probably want to be told if he or she will not be able to attend the next New Year’s Eve party. Some may just want to know the date and place of the execution so they know when to show up.
You will most likely want to find a way to get a pardon for the condemned. Not only is it the humane thing to do, but if successful, you can always refer back to the pardon in the future if you feel a guilt trip is necessary.
Have you ever been annoyed by any of his or her belongings? Maybe you feel that her closet is just too full. Or maybe you do not like the shirt that he got from his ex-girlfriend. Well, here is your chance to rid yourself of everything that disturbs you. Have a yard sale. Sell everything that belongs (belonged?) to him or her. Whatever you cannot sell, donate to charity. Not only will you possibly make some extra spending money (which may be used to purchase a burial urn) and do something to benefit the needy, but you will also relieve yourself of numerous things that could possibly bring back painful memories in the future.
This brings us to the subject of the person’s credit cards. Some people would use them and leave the charges unpaid. That is one of the most foolish and heartless things one could do. Instead, sell the credit cards. Find someone on the street who wants to buy them, and be happy. If you had used them yourself, you would have been much more easily traced and made to pay. Then the "victim of the courts" would have gone through the trauma of knowing not only that you had attempted to profit off of his or her misfortune, but also that you had been caught in the process. Add that stress to an already panicked mind, and there is only one word for it: cruelty. So sell the cards to a stranger.
As a last effort to save him or her, you could try to bribe the authorities, and depending on where you are, it just might work (Did you already spend all that money on a burial urn? Forget it then.). If your bribe is successful in stopping the execution, then you will need to tell him or her the bad news – your home was robbed and all of his or her belongings were stolen (make sure you repeatedly express your relief: "…at least you are alive"). If you were unsuccessful and are arrested, you can place the blame on the damned individual. At the very least you may be able to extend his or her life long enough to go to court for conspiracy or intimidation charges (remember to say, "He (or she) made me do it").
When the day comes for the execution, make it a point to go with as many friends and family as possible – yours of course, as you are the one who will need consolation afterwards. Not to say that you don’t want to make your loved one as comfortable as possible on his or her last day in this life (if you are atheists, then that is a shame). Do not take flash pictures. Being so close to death is bad enough, but having your sanity toyed with is even worse. He or she may think that each flash is the end. The cause of death may end up being a heart attack instead of a fatal surge of electricity.
Smile. The last thing he or she wants to be surrounded with is a depressing atmosphere. The whole event is sad enough as it is. There is no need to make matters worse.
One problem that usually arises is what to do for the departing person. What kind of gift do you get? If you spend too much it is a waste because he or she will not be around to enjoy it for very long. If, however, you do not spend enough, it looks like you care less about the person than you really do. Roses are too cliché. Is the person an animal lover? Buy a puppy and set it on his or her lap. Few things in life are more comforting than the gaze of a puppy, especially to an animal lover.
If you are sensible enough to go out of your way and follow these guidelines to ease his or her suffering, then you know how important it is for someone to have support from a loved one. Therefore, you know the best way to be comforting is to hold his or her hand and give emotional support as he or she passes on. Just picture it. Your loved one has the joy of the warmth of your hand and a young puppy licking him or her as the executioner throws the switch.
The puppy part was my favorite too. I was chatting with an old friend while writing this, and he came from a family of animal lovers. Since I was planning on sending him a copy to see if it sounded OK, that was added to surprise him at the end