"The journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path. One we all must take. The gray rain curtin of this world falls away and then you see it.......a far green country under a swift sunrise." Gandalf in Return of the King.
Well, Terri Schiavo has taken that path we all must take. I hope she finds Tolkiens' "far green country under a swift sunrise." Perhaps her spirit took that journey long ago and her body finally has the chance to catch up. Tolkien was a fellow catholic and I can't help wondering what the good professor would have made of all this.
What I really fear is that this whole sad, sorry, mess has taken another meat cleaver to the fraying threads that bind us together. Yes, they will do an autopsy. I fear that no matter what the results are, the people who didn't accept her diagnosis before won't believe the results now. They will continue to see conspiracies under the bed and the devil behind every door.
A torrent of harsh words and accusations have flashed back and forth like barbed arrows tipped with poison. Those words can't be called back. The woman got lost in the rhetoric. From what little I can tease out about the kind of person Terri was before this all started, I don't think she would have wanted this for her loved ones.
Those who saw the parents as angels or demons won't change their minds. Those who saw her husband as a murderer or devoted spouse making the best of a busted flush won't change their minds. I suspect that neither side were angels or demons. Just fallible human beings trying to make the best of that busted flush.
Which leaves the rest of us trying to figure out how to protect ourselves from ending up in the same situation. A situation where there are no good or best answers. We watched my grandmother die in end stage Alzheimers. It was long. It was slow. It was agonizing. To quote someone else. "It was as if she left and forgot to take her body with her."
We were much more fortunate with my dad. He had a lot of years of dealing with old injuries and two cancer surgeries, but when he went, it was as if someone blew out a candle.
I would like to say to all those who think they know how best to handle the end of some one else's life. The only person you can sentence to that kind of existance is yourself. Kindly leave the rest of us to deal with our own salvation in the privacy of our homes, with our immediate families. Your interference, no matter howwell intentioned will not be appreciated. Remember what paves the road to hell.