- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2005

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Terri Schiavo’s husband buried her cremated remains yesterday, inscribing on her bronze grave marker “I kept my promise.”

The inscription inflamed Mrs. Schiavo’s parents, who had waged a long legal battle to keep their brain-damaged daughter alive. They also said they had not been notified about the service beforehand.

Michael Schiavo — who said he promised his wife he would not keep her alive artificially — also listed on the bronze grave marker Feb. 25, 1990, as the date his wife “Departed this Earth.”

On that date, Mrs. Schiavo collapsed and fell into what was diagnosed as a persistent vegetative state.

Mrs. Schiavo actually died of dehydration March 31, nearly two weeks after the tube providing her with food and water was removed by her husband, with the backing of a court order. The grave marker lists that date as when Mrs. Schiavo was “at peace.”

David Gibbs, an attorney for parents Bob and Mary Schindler, decried the inscriptions on the marker.

“Obviously, that’s a real shot and another unkind act toward a grieving mom and dad,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Two days after Mrs. Schiavo’s death, the 41-year-old was cremated and her husband was given possession of her remains.

Mr. Schiavo had said her ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania. But his attorney, George Felos, said yesterday that the service and burial had taken place at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Fla.

The lawyer’s statement did not explain why Mr. Schiavo kept his wife’s remains in Florida. He did not return a phone call seeking additional information.

Services for Mrs. Schiavo, under the auspices of her parents, already had been conducted in nearby Gulfport, where her parents live, and in Pennsylvania, where she grew up.

Mrs. Schiavo collapsed after a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop. Years after the collapse and contrary to his earlier testimony in a medical-malpractice lawsuit over Mrs. Schiavo’s collapse, her husband said she once had said she never would have wanted to be kept alive by machines.

Mrs. Schiavo left no living will and her parents doubted she had any such end-of-life wishes.


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