This weekend has been very draining. As an explanation, I’ll simply repeat what I told a reporter this morning before I left Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo is starving to death. “I don’t want to be here, but I don’t want to leave.”
The darkness and evil is present in an almost-tangible way at that place. While Terri dies, hundreds of supporters are outside praying, singing, preaching, fasting, watching, lighting candles, and receiving Holy Communion. While she melts away and her family’s grief becomes heavier, a world watches the events as simply another human-interest story they really care little about.
I am torn between my moral obligations to stand in defense of life and those to fulfill promises and responsibilities for others. I contemplated staying longer. In fact, I had tried to get there earlier but had to turn back from sheer exhaustion. In the end, late last night, I decided that I’d better travel home. Now that I’m here, I wish I weren’t.
The travel down and back, the endless standing and walking until my feet were sore and swollen, the sunburn, the sleep deficit, the repetitious “I’m Anglican” to inquiring Roman Catholics: all these things are little in light of Terri’s suffering. Even the occasional hunger and frequent thirst were nothing compared to Terri’s ordeal.
At the moment, I’m fighting sleep, as I did most the trip home. Here are some miscellaneous notes I hope to expand on later. For now, I think I will stop fighting and succumb to the sandman.