Early Thurs morning, Terri Schiavo died two weeks after her feeding tubes were disconnected. Her relatives responded with words of forgiveness and gratitude later that night by holding a press conference right outside the Woodside Hospice where the 41 years died earlier during the day.
At the press conference, Schiavor’s sister Suzane Vitadamo and brother Bobby Schindler said, “As you are aware, Terri is now with God and she has been released from all earthly burdens. After these recent years of neglect at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and care for her, she is finally at peace with God for eternity.”
According to Christian Post, the Schindler family spoke to a crowd of 200+, many of whom brought flowers and tears to the conference, thanking those – including politicians, lawyers, doctors, volunteers and protestors – who rallied their support for Terri throughout the years-long battle.
“Thank you to the hundreds of doctors who volunteered to help Terri. Thank you to the fifty doctors who provided statements under oath to help Terri. Thank you to the lawyers who stood for Terri's life in the courtrooms of our nation,” they read.
“Please continue to pray that God gives grace to our family as we go through this very difficult time,” they read. “Following the example of the Lord Jesus, our family abhors any violence or any threats of violence. Threatening words dishonor our faith, our family, and our sister, Terri. We would ask that all those who support our family be completely kind in their words and deeds toward others.”
”Throughout this ordeal, we are reminded of the words of Jesus on the cross: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Our family seeks forgiveness for anything that we have done in standing for Terri's life that has not demonstrated the love and compassion required of us by our faith,” they said.
“As a member of our family unable to speak for yourself, you spoke loudly. As a member of our family unable to stand under your own power, you stood with a grace and a dignity that made your family proud,” they said.
“Terri, we love you dearly, but we know that God loves you more than we do. We must accept your untimely death as God's will,” they said.
“Terri, your life and legacy will continue to live on, as the nation is now awakened to the plight of thousands of voiceless people with disabilities that were previously unnoticed. Your family intends to stand up for the other "Terri's" around this nation and we will do all that we can to change the law so others won't face the same fate that has befallen you,” they said.
God's plan for Terri is unfolding before our eyes. Our prayer at this time is that our Nation will remember the plight of persons with disabilities and commit within our hearts to defend their lives and their dignity for many generations to come.