Friday, March 20, 2009

In Memoriam Natasha Richardson and Terri Schiavo

In all the craziness of our new failing economy, and the bonuses, and the taxing of the bonuses, I want to take a moment to remember Natasha Richardson and Terri Schiavo. Because their tragic deaths ought to remind us of how much has changed in our country since the election. Natasha Richardson's death touched me, horribly, because it seems that she died the same way my niece Natasha died five years ago at age nine. Bleeding on the brain or brain stem is quite a common way for people to die, or to become paralyzed (there was a diary about this up at Kos from a diarist whose son remains paralyzed from the nose down *to this day* from undiagnosed bleeding on the brain.) But my personal grief, and my respect for her family, would have made me shy away from commenting on her death except for this one fact: her family was allowed to let her go without the interference of an out of control cabal of right wing Senators, Congressmen, Administrative Hacks and gibbering lunatics. Perhaps if the situation had dragged on a bit longer we would have seen the streets filled with hysterical white teens with their mouths taped up, or ranting old testament hucksters looking for a hand out, or even Bill Frist rising from his crypt to examine footage of Ms. Richardson in The Parent Trap to proclaim her "perfectly fine." But instead this poor woman and her family were left alone to make the hard decisions that families, and families alone, can make. In the midst of the horror and the sorrow we have much, as a country, for which to be thankful.