Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schindler, RIP

Terri has finally died. I feel profoundly sad and outraged over the way she was starved to death. I just heard Fr. Pavone talking about how he was there in Terri's room about 10 minutes before she died and was able to pray the prayers of the Church for the dying. At least now Terri is with God. May she rest in peace!


Anonymous said...

Outraged also at the fact that Michael didn't even let her parents and siblings be with her as she was dying. (That is what a couple of reports have said) How dare he deny her parents the right to be with their dying daughter!!

Rae said...

You know, I reported this myself on my own blog, i.e. that Michael Schiavo denied Terri's parents and siblings their request to be with her at the end. I've been doing some thinking about that, though. One really cannot predict when death will come. I have learned this simple truth at the vigils I have kept with dying loved ones. For example, the morning my mother died, we five siblings who were present had kept watch together the previous afternoon and evening, because it had seemed like she was getting weaker and her time was approaching. But at midnight we decided to split into shifts. I had the 2:30-3:30 am shift. If I had known she was going to die at 4:00am, I would not have woken my sister Marie up to relieve me, and fallen right back to sleep. I would have woken us all up to be with her. If we had known at midnight that death would come during the night, we would all have kept vigil all night, instead of waking each other up every two hours.

In Terri's case, Michael could not have known exactly when Terri would die. The relationship between he and the Schindlers was exceptionally volatile and unpleasant. These two angry sides of the battle had been taking turns at Terri's bedside so that neither party would be there when the other was there, lest the anger boil over and lead to violence.

I cannot accuse Michael Schiavo of refusing her parents the right to be at their daughter's side when she died, much as I might like to. He could not have known that this would be the hour she would die, even though she was becoming weaker and it appeared that death was near. Yes, I do wish that he had granted the Schindler's request. Perhaps some miracle of healing, understanding or forgiveness might have happened if the two parties had been in the same room with Terri.

And we do not know if they would have allowed Michael to remain there with her, if she had lived until their "turn" had come. There may be many reasons for thinking Michael's behavior to be monstrous, but that last refusal was not IMO.