I stand before this court today, 57 years after my untimely death, to deliver a victim impact statement, so that You may decide the fate of the one who thought my life was as inconsequential as a bug’s.
The days after my death are still so clearly etched into my mind—even all this time later—playing out like a movie reel from beginning to end and around again. A carousel of memories or better yet, a record stuck playing the same note over and over. Rumination is ruining my afterlife, your Honours. His evilness reaches its sharp talons through the gauzy veil of death.
The movie begins with rocks being rolled over my shallow grave. Was he worried I would rise and claw zombie-like through the dirt? The silence of the desert seeped beneath the sand and echoed through the long years as I lay there, lonely and afraid.
I watch as my family staples missing persons posters to telegraph poles. As wind and rain weather them over time, despair weighs heavy on my chest while they fall into gutters or float away on a breeze, and become just another piece of rubbish littering the streets.
A summer storm rumbles overhead. Torrential rain rushes over my resting place, a term that sounds more peaceful than it really is. Rivulets become rivers. Water cleanses, then reveals. It washes sand away, and I feel the scorching sun begin to bleach my bones.
I watch the coroner measure my femur, laid out on his sterile stainless steel table. Trying to determine the approximate height of Jane Doe. Femur length times 2.47 plus 54.10 gives an approximate height. Amazingly, I’m still learning in death. He determines I’m anywhere between 166 centimetres and 173. He’s correct. I am—was—168. Taking photographs of my teeth for later comparison and pulverising bone for DNA. He couldn’t hear me scream my name. The veil this time, too thick.
Black umbrellas form a shield against my tears as they fall over my family and friends. A deluge that soaks the ground I’m about to be lowered into—again. This time though, as a pile of bones in a silk-lined casket, not flesh and blood in a dirty blanket.
My wedding ring, placed lovingly inside a single white balloon, rises to meet me. I grasp at it but my hand cannot reach the string. My fiancé below, stands broken and lost. An anniversary stolen.
And I watch as you lead a life of freedom, no care for the one whose life you took so frivolously. No remorse for your actions, no guilt weighing you down. It was as if I never existed, as if my life never mattered.
Now this Afterlife Court gets to decide your fate. What to do with an old man’s soul who once destroyed a young girl’s dreams? Is there any punishment befitting the heinous act of taking another’s life?
Sometimes karma comes too late.