The day that we have long dreaded has arrived. Michael Schiavo, attorney George Felos, and Judge George Greer have prevailed. So, too, have the forces of nihilism that sadly abound in this country.
Theresa Maria Schindler Schiavo is dead
God have mercy on her soul.
That this 41-year old woman -- handicapped, cognitively-disabled, but a joy to her parents, brother, and sister, and an inspiration to those of us who loved and fought for her -- died in such an inhumane, appalling manner is a dark stain on American jurisprudence. Beyond that, her death represents one of the gravest examples of man's inhumanity to man this country has ever known. Indeed, in a country known for its boundless charity and heartfelt compassion, there was neither for Theresa from those who sought her demise. In a country in which the "Declaration of Independence" was nobly authored, death was ignobly authored by the courts.
But, I tell you, this death will not soon be forgotten. I tell you, this death will never be forgotten.
It is a sad, sad day in America. It truly is. It profoundly is. Because evil has won over good.
The dark side of secularism was effectively summoned and did its dark deed. A philandering, cold-as-steel husband, who found steadfast accomplices in black robes, was able to have his hapless, helpless wife -- a wife he deserted for another, but refused ever to divorce -- put to death by refusing her food and water. Just as he coldly euthanized his wife's cats, so too did he direct the death of the woman he took vows with years ago to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, 'til death do they part.
But Michael chose to part from Terri in a much different, more dastardly way, while seeking her death and while sleeping with another. And that is not a marriage. That is not a bond. That is not the love of which the poets write. No, that is an abomination. That is a sinister, ghastly form of selfishness that good men find incomprehensible and women should fear.
Michael, it most assuredly can be said, proved far sicker than his wife ever was. All Bob and Mary Schindler wanted was to be given legal guardianship of their daughter, so Michael could move on with his life, his girlfriend, and his two children by her. They just wanted to love their daughter, care for their daughter, and try to give her, as parents, what Michael refused her -- much-needed medical tests, rehabilitative therapy, dental care, and a long overdue dose of sunlight, fresh air, and warm affection. The Schindlers wanted no more than to rescue their daughter from years of lock-down confinement in a grim hospice room; to provide her a real home, real tenderness, and a place to live that was alive with life, rather than encircled by death.
But Michael would have none of that. No, Michael wanted something far different. He wanted "the bitch" dead, he wanted her body cremated, he wanted her ashes placed in the ground well before her time had come, long before God would have called her. And, were this not callous and calculating enough, Michael wanted those ashes far removed from his in-laws, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. What he made difficult for the Schindlers while Terri was alive, he now wants to make more difficult after her death. His malice knows no bounds. This sad excuse for a man even denied the family their poignant request to be at Terri's side when her breathing expired and her spirit slipped away. Cruelty, thy name is Michael Schiavo.
And what did this brutality, this barbarism, this pulling of the feeding tube, all come down to? Because a court-appointed neurologist testified that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and much of her cerebral cortex had liquified? Is that sufficient cause in this country to execute someone and in a manner deemed unfit and, constitutionally, "cruel and unusual" even for our nation's most egregious killers? Must a life that is compromised be compromised altogether? Is death the sentence now for being different? If fetuses aren't sentient, if they're not real persons, if they're erroneously deemed incapable of pain, if they're expendable as a matter of convenience, is such a diminution of life and God's creations not now the order of the day for the elderly, the handicapped, the cognitively-disabled, the people in wheel chairs, in hospital beds, and warehoused because they are mentally challenged? Does taking life in such a grotesque way and for such unconscionable reasons hold no more import than weeding one's garden?
Tell me, if you're a nihilist, a non-believer, a right-to-die proponent, a champion of euthanasia, an apologist for mercy killing, a liberal Democrat with a deaf ear and a camouflage suit, an out of sight, out of mind type -- tell me why Michael's empty heart wasn't cause enough to starve and dehydrate him to death, too? If a suspect brain has become the sin quo non to a court-ordered death, than why has not a suspect heart? Why is Michael Schiavo deified by you people who callously called Terri Schiavo a "potted plant" and so disrespected her value to society, her parents, and her siblings? Why was her death so damn important to you? Why was the concept of "beyond a reasonable doubt" not reaffirmed, rather than discarded, just as Terri's life was? So many questions; so many chances missed; so much passion expended just to kill someone.
So now she's gone from us. And a portion of this country's humanity has died with her. But we who champion life over death are comforted in knowing her soul has passed to a place that requires neither mercy, nor suffers the caprice of men in black robes or the calumny of fools. Theresa becomes in death the beauty who was shattered by the laws; but a woman, nonetheless, for whom our memories will form a furious fight for justice, the rights of natural law, and of nature's God.
Some may have won the battle, Theresa, but others will win the war. Others will win the war.
FOR A DEAD LADY
No more with overflowing light
Shall fill the eyes that now are faded,
Nor shall another's fringe with night
Their woman-hidden world as they did.
No more shall quiver down the days
The flowing wonder of her ways,
Whereof no language may require
The shifting and the many-shaded.
The grave, divine, definitive,
Clings only as a faint forestalling;
The laugh that love could not forgive
Is hushed, and answers to no calling;
The forehead and the little ears
Have gone where Saturn keeps the years;
The breast where roses could not live
Has done with rising and with falling.
The beauty, shattered by the laws
That have creation in their keeping,
No longer trembles at applause,
Or over children that are sleeping;
And we who delve in beauty's lore
Know all that we have known before
Of what inexorable cause
Makes Time so vicious in his reaping.
-Edwin Arlington Robinson-