Today I was reading the newspaper over breakfast. It seems that last night at the Bang Kwang prison here in Thailand five prisoners were put to death by firing squad. They hadn't actually been told until around 4pm that day (although the press had been told the day before).

Now, as with most people, I have my own views on capital punishment but I want to put those aside for a moment.

The newspaper said that none of the condemned were allowed to visit with loved ones, but that they were able to leave written messages.

This got me to thinking

The last two prisoners were shot simultaneously at 6:38pm. That means that they had at most two hours and thirty-eight minutes to write down all they wanted to leave behind as last thoughts.

Now most of them had been on death row for at least a couple of years so they could've gotten everything down that they wanted, but I know that often people don't really say everything they want until the last minute.

If you knew you were going to die in about two and a half hours what would you write?

Who would you write to? Family, friends, that teacher that made you believe in something... What would you want to pass on to others? Of course you'd probably want to let your loved ones know just how much they meant to you, but with only a couple of hours you couldn't really write too much.

I know that when I leave for a vacation I'm always in a state on that last day of work — trying to get everything sorted, not wanting to leave any one in the lurch — but this would be it; the big one. Anything you want to say to anyone has to be committed to paper in the next couple hours or it's lost forever.

Anyway, the article just made me think.

Okay, I gotta write some letters to some people.

(This node was inspired by an article I read in the April 19th, 2001 issue of the Bangkok Post newspaper)
[article available online at]

P.S. - if this node anyway inspired you to drop a note to that friend you had a fight with (over something really stupid) x number of months/years ago drop me a /msg would'ja? I love hearing about stuff like that...

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