the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Name:
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.

6/16/2005

Terri Schiavo: Beyond Forgiveness?

WHEN TERRI SCHIAVO died, her sister Suzanne Vitadano told reporters:

“May God give grace to our family”

Hence, her death should have been the end of an unhappy story.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. Sadly, the anger, bitterness and unforgiveness didn’t end.

The passing of Terri left great gaping wounds to heal. Peace should have been the last emotion Terry felt. Thank God she was oblivious to all the angry words that passed between those she loved. No one should have to die as she did.

The Schindlers wanted closure. They sought this, which everyone had hoped would and should finally end it all.

There just simply doesn't appear to be any end in sight. Tragically, the anger, bitterness and unforgiveness course on, relentlessly.

Despite medical evidence and expert opinion, the Schindlers won't believe she was beyond saving. They remain unshaken in their belief that Michael Schiavo caused her collapse and insist the autopsy does not preclude his culpability.

To compound it all, their spiritual advisers and pro-lifers rallied to reinforce this resistance to closure and the healing that would surely have attended:

"No details of this autopsy change the moral evaluation of what happened to Terri."

They immobilise themselves thus:

"Terri did not die from an atrophied brain. She died from an atrophy of compassion."

By not accepting the autopsy results, they deny themselves and the Schindlers closure and healing. By cleaving to unforgiveness, they still will not let Terri rest in peace.

It's a wrenching drama, I know.

But what a shame for the Schindlers. That they cannot see there is hope for them. That there is a new future which they will soon help create; there will be new challenges for them and their family which they cannot yet know.

Unless they open their hearts to peace.

“…Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy...”

When you are grieving, you often lose sight of the future, because the present is so draining. But no matter what has been taken from you there is hope. They still have each other and they still have a life in front of them.


If only we can apply the lessons of forgiveness as John Paul II taught us.

“Freedom and frogiveness go hand-in-hand… To refuse to love and to forgive is thus to be bound, to be imprisoned. When suffering comes we have a real choice. We can choose to forgive. Lord, grant to those so deeply impacted by this tragedy real healing. Give them the grace to forgive as you have forgiven”.

I pray the Schindlers will find healing and consolation, and that Terri's memories will bring them peace.

And that God will grant them all the grace to let Terri finally rest in peace.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous ah pink said...

It's so sad. May Terri's sould rest in peace.

3:39 PM  
Blogger thquah said...

I really can't understand the parents of Terri's why all the fuss even now she is gone.If I am in a vegetable state I will surely pull the plug.( I will state it in my will)If the time to go then you have to go.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Rajan R said...

The thing is, thquah, nobody knows what Terri Schiavo wanted. The court accepted hearsay evidence, and since this isn't a criminal case, there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal about that - sadly.

But indeed, the court should have ruled in favour of the Schindlers. After all, Terri Schiavo has only one legal kin and family that wants her dead: her husband who is living, in violation of his civil marriage vows, with another woman. While I personally think, and it looks like my opinion is right, that Terri is beyond hope, it isn't my, the court, or an unfaithful husband's choice to say whether she should live or die.

9:25 PM  
Blogger percolator said...

ah pink,
Yes, at the end of a long and troubled journey, she surely deserves eternal rest.

thquah,
It's a feud so long and bitter, that with her death it's no longer about Terri. Like the univited guest, bitterness refuses to leave, so tries to find any reason to stay, raising new reasons even as old ones crumble under the strong light of reason.

rajan,
Yes, we'll never know what she wanted. As for me, in such matters of ethical dilemmas, it'll have to come down to motivation. As much as we question the husband's, we'll equally need to question the parents' for wanting to keep her alive, where no hope of recovery remains, she'll always be a vegetable that deteriorates by the day.
Frankly, now (on hindsight) on the weight of medical evidence, I question the hoo-ha they raised over her receiving 'food for the journey' given the Catholic Church'
s conditions under which communion can be administered.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Rajan R said...

percolator: Considering we don't know what's her wish, such a choice shouldn't be anyone's but her family's to make. But, considering that her closest kin that betrayed his vows and Florida laws and is living and had children with another woman, such a decision should be made by her parents.

It's a slippery slope to consider food and water artificial life sustainers and allow someone to be starved, regardless of whether they can feel the pain or not. As well as to give an unfaithful husband such a measure of power.

Perhaps if the courts have given her parents guardianship over Terri Schiavo, it would have been easier for them to let go. Schiavo refused to allow Catholic rites to be performed on her, plus wanting her cremated against her parents wishes, the ashes buried in a funeral where her parents would be barred from - it's easy to see why the Schindlers don't trust Schiavo one bit.

2:49 PM  

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