Dear Mom and Dad,
My requests are short and simple. I will not ask much of you. You can start by giving your 100% full undivided attention to this piece of paper you are reading.
So, first, you can start by sending me off just the way you remember me as if I were still alive, as if you saw me walking down the street. Please send me off the way you think I would want to be remembered.
At my wake, please place me with all my favorite belongings. Do you even know what those are, my favorite belongings?
Please do not place a picture of me as a child in my casket. I hated my childhood. Please do not stick random treasures next to my lifeless corpse, which the mortician calls my body, because you think that these treasures would make me laugh if I were still alive. I rarely smiled.
Actually, place one thing in my casket and one thing only. Make it one thing that sums me up. Could you even think of the one thing in this world that could sum me up? What could tell the story of a boy who had no childhood and loathed his adulthood?
And to the one who will give my eulogy, please do not be sappy and drawn out. Please do not tell the crowd sitting in the old wooden chairs half-heartedly gazing up at you that I was just the “sweetest little boy” and that I was nothing but a bundle of joy and how I wanted to grow up and do great things. And please do not say something like, “I remember how our beautiful little boy wanted to be an astronaut and a baseball player” and how I had the biggest heart ever. For none of these things are true.
I was sweet once upon a time, but I have grown into a lying, whiskey drinking alcoholic, pill snorting drug addict, thieving piece of shit. So do not lie to the audience.
Please be honest and truthful. Don’t be afraid of what the world doesn’t know about our family and feel free to add on to what they already know. SHOCK them! SURPRISE them! SCARE them! Let them know who we really are. We are one family in our own category. SO EMBRACE IT GODDAMMIT!
Don’t use my death as a way to brighten things up in our broken family. Things were never bright for us, so don’t use my sudden passing as a way to mend broken hearts and put out fires over broken bridges.
Please do and I insist, that the two of you give one another dirty looks at the funeral home the same way you would as if you saw one another a day prior to my death, or, if you see each other after my death and choose not to cross the street to avoid conversation, please, for my sake, say something upsetting to the other person.
When my body is lowered into the ground seeing how no one will honor my wishes of being cremated and dumped into the waters of Montauk, New York, please do not hug each other, please don’t give each other a kiss on the cheek or even simply shake hands. Avoid all eye contact and walk away.
Please be true to the nature of the hatred that the two of you felt for each other prior to and after the divorce. How sad would it be that it would take the death of your youngest son to finally bridge the gap of a lifelong hatred for two human beings who were never meant to share a kiss, let alone produce two children?
Please do not let my death be the reason that everything will be okay from here on out. I only ask you this because for my entire life I have always wanted to know what it would have been like if everything was in fact okay between the two of you.
Please don’t let that happen after I die. That would be unfair to my spirit. If you couldn’t make it happen when I was a baby, then it’s not worth trying when I’m an adult slowly starting to decay in a cheaply made cedar box in a funeral home with my only audience of observers that I would ever have in such a large amount at one time.
I used to blame you guys for the way things turned out, but really, who am I to point the finger or to place blame? If you think about true love, or romance, or any form of bonding between two complete strangers, it’s almost insanity.
You take two people who never met before or two people who previously knew each other but not well enough to have fallen in love, and expect them to actually fall in love. How can we expect two strangers to fall in love and not have any quarrels or moments of hatred?
We are the same species but two completely different animals. We stick two people together with the hopes that they will have all if not most interests in common and fall madly and deeply for each other.
The thought of two individuals growing old, staying content with minimal flaws, perfect children, a happy retirement in Florida sipping Piña Coladas, playing shuffleboard at the retirement home and spending the evening looking at pictures of the grandchildren always seemed like a near impossibility to me after watching the two of you try to hold a normal conversation.
So again, I don’t blame you two anymore. At least you tried as parents. And I don’t blame you for my death, seeing how we all will die at some point in our lives, and I don’t blame you for the way I turned out. I learned from all of your mistakes in life, and I still chose to make my own.
You didn’t do your best by any means at all, but at least you did something, at least you tried. So yeah, you made plenty of mistakes along the way and hurt a few people, but then again, who doesn’t make mistakes and break a promise or two?
We all fall down at one point in our lives, so I can’t blame you guys for my scraped knees and past regrets.
So please do not mourn my passing. But rejoice, for I am no longer in pain. I can now sleep again. Like I said, we all fall down, but we all cannot get back up. It just seems that my legs were permanently broken from birth.
Thank you for nothing.
You’re Second Son