Michael Schiavo: “I Kept My Promise”

xlrq wonders why several of us who supported Michael Schiavo in his right to decide the fate of his wife against state action have not condemned him for his rather smug inscription on Terri Schiavo’s tombstone:

Schiavo’s Remains Buried Amid Acrimony

The burial of Terri Schiavo’s cremated remains didn’t bring an end to the acrimony between her husband and her family. Michael Schiavo angered his late wife’s family Monday by not notifying them about the burial beforehand and by inscribing on her bronze grave marker the words “I kept my promise.” Michael Schiavo – who said he promised his wife he would not keep her alive artificially – also listed Feb. 25, 1990, as the date his wife “Departed this Earth.” On that date, Schiavo collapsed and fell into what most doctors said was an irreversible vegetative state.

Sand covers some of the lettering on Terri Schiavo's grave where her remains were interred Monday June 20, 2005 in Clearwater, Fla. Terri died March 31, 2005, 13-days after he feeding tube was removed. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Schiavo actually died March 31, nearly two weeks after her feeding tube was removed by court order. The grave marker lists that date as when Schiavo was “at peace.”

I don’t find myself particularly angered at this since, while making a point in such a way strikes me as unseemly, it’s entirely his business. A funeral and a tombstone exist entirely for the comfort of the living; the dead don’t much care. Michael Schiavo endured years of public scorn and lies perpetrated by the Schindler family; if he finds satisfaction in putting his version of events on a piece of rock that he paid for, more power to him.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. If he loved his wife as much as I love mine, he would indeed feel she “departed this earth” 15 years ago if that’s the last time the girl he knew was really “there”.

  2. Jim Rhoads says:

    And it is in the tradition Old New England,and the west where the living make pronouncements on grave markers about events that led to the death of loved ones. See, e.g. http://www.palmettoroots.org/Tombstones.html.

  3. Xrlq says:

    xlrq wonders why several of us who supported Michael Schiavo in his right to decide the fate of his wife against state action have not condemned him for his rather smug inscription on Terri Schiavo’s tombstone.

    Not really. While I consider this tombstone proof positive that Michael Schiavo is an even bigger scumbag than I had previously suspected, I’m not particularly surprised that few of his supporters (or none that I’m aware of, except Joe Gandelman) have condemned his tackier-than-thou parting shots at the Schindlers. My “why the silence” remark was not a serious question or even a serious rhetorical one, but a sarcastic rejoinder to John Cole’s asinine “Why the Silence?” post, which ran the very same morning that the news accounts of Terri Schiavo’s autopsy report hit the press.

  4. Seeing Jeff “Xrlq” Bishop call anyone a “scumbag” comes pretty close to the heart of irony.

  5. reliapundit says:

    Michael is a scubag. The thing that stands out the most on HER tombstone is about HIM!

    And it’s an absolute lie.

    In his civil suit, he testified that if he got the money he would care for her for the rest of her life. He said that in order to collect a HUGE settlement.

    then he has the AUDACITY to claim that by ordering her doctors to withhold food and water he was CARING FOR HER!?

    Her parents and her siblings were really honestly TRUTHFULLY ready to care for her for the rest of her life. He wasn’t. He had MOVED ON; he was LEGALLY ESTRANGED FROM HER.

    Would YOU want your EX to have life-and-death power over you?! Not me; I doubt anyone would – TRUTHFULLY!

    Michael should have to return the money he got in the settlement.

  6. jim says:

    This is ridiculous, apparently all he can get for his soul is a few more minutes of fame. Devil’s been getting them cheap these days.

  7. Clint Lovell says:

    Would you all drop this already? This insane campaign has done not one positive thing for our party – not one. It’s created divisions in the party and has only succeeded in chasing away people we need to make the party a party.

    What were you thinking? All life is sacred? Puleezze. If you favor the death penalty, then you are no better than the hypocrites we routinely lambast over in Donkeyland. Either all life is sacred or it isn’t – period. Anything else is you telling the rest of us that your judgment should be substituted for our own judgment and that exactly matches the mantra of the Democatric Party – right down the line.

    I can’t imagine what acrid satisfaction you gain from beating this dead horse (forgive the pun, please). How long are you going to keep stirring the bitterness in the cup you prepared for yourselves and asked the rest of us to partake in, whether we wanted it or not?

    You are doing exactly what Howard Dean is doing and it is not going to work any more for you than it does for Howard. Preaching to the converted gains us NOTHING, as in No Thing.

    If you would like to explain it to me, please feel free to shoot me an email.

  8. Tara says:

    Think about this … In twenty years or so, when no one remembers the controversy that whirled around Terri Schaivo, those who read the plaque will be touched by the story it tells and by the loyalty it shows. The inscription on Terri’s marker honors the course of her life and death in a poignant way and shows the commitment of a steadfast and soulful spouse.

    I’m sorry that the Schindlers and their supporters choose to cause themselves pain by interpreting everything Michael does as an attack on them. What they lack are personal boundaries and perspective. By interpreting Michael’s every thought, word, and deed as being about them or directed at them, which, as any acute observer can discern, is not the case – they are demonstrating their own ego-centrism.

    One other point begs to be made: no matter what Michael Schiavo does, the Schindlers and their followers are ready to judge, criticize, and attack him. What they do not seem to realize is that by their reactions they are revealing the smallness of their own hearts and minds.

  9. He’s trashy at best for this.

  10. Juan Schoch says:

    Michael Schiavo’s 30-70 Minute Gap Exploded Away Regarding 911 Call Seeking Assistance for Terri Schiavo

    Charts prove a much larger gap in which Michael Schiavo did not seek help and also prove his various testimonies are merely concocted stories made up while under oath,.

    Michael Schiavo asserts on Terri Schiavo’s tombstone that she departed this earth on February 25, 1990 but failed to tell that to the medical malpractice jury when seeking and winning millions of dollars for her care. Charts explode away 30-70 minute gap mentioned by authorities regarding Terri’s “collapse” and time Michael Schiavo waited in seeking help and add an additional 2 hour gap. In fact Michael’s accounts proven to be no more than stories hiding his complicity in her collapse. See the charts:


  11. Lt bell says:

    reliapundit- what planet are you from???
    how is it that you seem to know Michael Schiavo as
    well as Frist and Bush????

    Surely you have not visited more often than they have????

    The Christian Nazi party of america has a leader in you/

    mind your own business – think about the living before you give life to the dead

  12. I dunno, maybe Michael just wanted to take a shot at Promise Keepers. In which case… I approve wholeheartedly (cue Chris Rock’s riff on people who want credit for things they’re supposed to do).

  13. ICallMasICM says:

    Sorry but this is screwed up. I was fairly agnostic about who were the bigger creeps up until now but this has the husband surging back into the lead. Leave this poor womens soul to rest. WTF is wrong with this guy?

  14. Bithead says:

    An interesting if unseemly attempt at self-justification.

    An unsuccessful attempt, may I add.

  15. This site is so illuminating.

    No one who read Judge Greer’s decision in the Schiavo case would be advocating on behalf of the Schindlers. Far from it.

    Why not read through the facts as presented at trial, and not through whacky stuff you find on the Internet? You can find it all here:


    You, too, can actually know what you’re talking about! Be the envy of your friends! Learn:

    Who was REALLY after money! (Hint: it wasn’t Michael Schiavo)
    Who was REALLY lying! (Hint: it wasn’t Michael Schiavo)
    Which experts were reliable and which were total QUACKS!

    On second thought–don’t. I love this version of the Republican party. It’s beautiful–keep it up. Instead of defending truth–and a Republican judge who did his job–keep living in a fantasy world and agitating for mob rule. Fantastic.

    Oh, and thanks also for the “magic dolphins” that rescued Elian. That was another good one.

  16. ICallMasICM says:

    ed201k –

    that’s fine – then explain this crap? What – just one last slap at the parents? Just so if the parents visit her grave he can rub it in their faces? One last final parting insult? I don’t care what side anyone comes down on in this, let the poor womens soul rest in peace.

    And I’m sorry JJ normally I’d agree that he paid for it and can have what he wants on the tombstone but there is no justifiable reason to enshrine controversy on her final resting place. I pray to God it is her final resting place and her soul can get some rest there. It certainly deserves it.

  17. Actually, I understand your point. Given everything that’s been said about Michael Schiavo, and how effectively the media spread the story the Schindlers were offering, it makes sense that people would see this stone as some sort of grand-standing.

    But here’s my point: read the decision. Read all the decisions and all the motions in this case. Forget what you know, forget what they said on cable TV; wipe your mind clean and read the primary source material.

    I would be very surprised if anyone who does that comes away with anything but contempt for the Schindlers. But more importantly, doing so might actually permit the thought to enter people’s minds that Michael Schiavo was telling the truth. That he desperately loved his wife, cared for her for years–well after the doctors told him to give it up–and only after they told him her brain had begun to disintegrate did he give up. And that he really was fulfiling her wish not to “live like that”.

    It’s not hard at all to come to that conclusion if you read the case. That’s why all the judges did–no matter what Sean Hannity said. And once you allow yourself to consider that maybe he was telling the truth, and fighting her nasty, greedy parents on her behalf, you’ll look at this tombstone in a different light.

    Read the case. Read the decision. See what good, Baptist Republican Judge Greer thought of the Schindlers and their “experts” and “witnesses”. See who was lying, and who was really concerned about Terri Schiavo.