Terri Schiavo Tombstone Quote Wasn’t Meant to Offend, Brother Says

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Tombstone Quote Wasn’t Meant to Offend, Brother Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 22, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — The brother of Terri Schaivo’s estranged husband Michael says a quote he placed on Terri’s burial marker wasn’t meant to offend Terri’s family. Terri’s family says the quote, "I kept my promise" is offensive because Michael abdicated his responsibility to Terri during the decade long legal battle they fought.

Brian Schiavo, one of Michael’s brothers, said the quote was simply a message from Michael to Terri and had nothing to do with her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

"That was something he was feeling," Brian Schiavo said Tuesday. "It would have been very easy for him to walk away from this thing. But they had a promise to each other, and he stuck by it."

"I know the Schindlers look at it as a slap in the face," Brian Schiavo said. "They had nothing to do with it. That was [something] from Michael to Terri."

However, the Schindler family says that’s not the case.

"This clearly illustrates the spiteful lengths in which Michael Schiavo will go in order to purposely hurt those that loved Terri unconditionally — her family," Terri’s brother Bobby told LifeNews.com on Tuesday.

The quote, the Schindler family says, also goes against Michael’s betrayal of his responsibility to Terri. He did not use much of the $1.5 million medical malpractice money he received for Terri’s medical care or rehabilitation, for which it was intended.

"Maybe even more tragic is that, in doing so, Michael Schiavo shows nothing but a lack of respect for Terri," Schindler added.

Brian Schiavo also said he and a handful of other people attended the funeral ceremony in Clearwater at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park. The burial service is also a bone of contention because Michael did not tell the Schindler family when or where it would be held.

"I guess maybe he wanted to be closer to her," he told the Associated Press. "It’s just his decision to do so."

Because of the close proximity to where the Schindler family lives, they would have been able to attend the service had Michael notified them.

Michael, his other brother Steve and a Catholic priest also attended the service.

Also upsetting to the Schindler family, Michael listed the date Terri died as February 25, 1990 — the day Terri collapsed from unknown circumstances. Terri actually passed away on March 31, 2005, after suffering a painful 13 day starvation and dehydration death.

The grave marker lists the 1990 date as the day Terri "Departed the Earth" and lists the 2005 date as the day Terri was "at peace."

The marker describes Terri as a "beloved wife" and features the Christian symbol of a dove descending to the Earth.