Nightmare: On the Impending Execution of David Hosier

Nightmare: On the Impending Execution of David Hosier June 9, 2024

Jeff Hood & David Hosier


It’s 4:38am.  The nightmare is familiar.  I’ve just watched one of the guys I’ve worked with executed.  Right after they’re declared dead, I’m about to leave.  Suddenly, they look up and ask, “Why didn’t you help me?”  When I try to speak, nothing comes out of my mouth.  It’s as if I know that there is nothing to say.  Desperate to explain why I can’t.  I wake up with a jolt.  Tonight, it was David Hosier.  Even though he’s not even dead yet, he’s already haunting me.  They never leave, they’re always there.  This is the price of choosing to love.  This is the price of defiance in a world determined to kill.

Questions of help are a baseline of spirituality.  You can’t love if you are not willing to help.  I’ve loved David so much.  Yet, such love is probably not going to be enough…not going to be enough to save his life.  It tears at our heart.  It rips at your soul.  I know that I will love him until the end.  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe there is no end.  Maybe it’s all an illusion.  It certainly doesn’t feel like it.  “Why didn’t you help me?” feels like the exact same question as, “Do you love me?”

When I can’t speak in the nightmare, what I’m trying to say is that I’m doing the best that I can.  I’ve tried to help as much as I can.  I’ve done everything possible.  I’ve left nothing on the table.  It doesn’t matter.  It seems impossible to stop the mechanisms of death.  So, I’m left there with nothing to say.  The one who has just been executed still lies there executed.

There are two executions that take place during every execution.  There is the executed.  But…there is also something that is executed within me.  I think it’s the belief that somehow love can stop these horrors.  Then again, that’s the only hope that I have.  I wake up after the nightmare.  I believe that I will also wake up after the nightmare on Tuesday.  I also believe that David will always be close no matter what happens.

Love is hope amidst hopelessness.  Nightmares be damned.  David is alive.  Love is alive.  Hope is too.  Hope.

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