As I pack, yet again, to move to another place to put my stuff, I pack my brother’s urn into his green-velvet box with the words ‘Dignity’ written inside. I suppose it’s the name of the boxmaker, or the company in which the funeral home orders from. The words I only see as my little brother travels from place-to-place with me.
Dignity; an oxymoron that his few bones in that pewter urn, which were scattered over the Oklahoma mountain after decomposition from one (or two) that threw his dead body out like a sack of rotten potatoes, rests in such a capsule being that he was 6″3.
I think about that scene in Face Off where the kid, so innocent and unaware, is amidst the gunfire and chaos as “Over The Rainbow” blares through his headphones. That’s how I imagine my brother spent his last moments; innocent of the pollution around him.
Although at times I think about one of the most famous Shakespearen quotes, “Et tu, Brute?” I wonder if my brother felt the ultimate betrayal like Caesar when he realized that someone (or two) he deeply cared about was the hand that took his life, and LET ME ASSURE YOU IT WAS SOMEONE (OR TWO) THAT HE ADORED. The moment he realized he was going to die, he also realized he was betrayed. Can you imagine leaving the world with that knowledge? You die alone, this much is true, but it probably feels less scary to see those you love around as you make the transition into the afterlife. The last look of this world my innocent brother got was deception. It makes it hard for me to not betray my opposition to capital punishment, I’ll tell you that!
It won’t be long until I unpack by brother, yet again, and read “Dignity” on his green-velvet box as I place him on my desk where he belongs; beside me as we write his story.