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Terri's grave: 'I kept my promise'

Michael Schiavo had a grave marker placed yesterday on the cremated remains of his wife Terri Schiavo that lists her death as Feb. 25, 1990 — more than 15 years before she died of court-ordered dehydration.

The marker lists her actual death, March 31, as the date on which she was “at peace.”

In an apparent message from Michael Schiavo himself, the grave marker also says “I kept my promise,” referring to his insistence that his severely brain-injured wife didn’t want to be kept alive by “artificial” means.

Terri Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who battled in court for their daughter’s life for more than a decade, were notified of the burial by fax only after the service, according to their attorney, David Gibbs.

Gibbs condemned the words on the marker.

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

Michael Schiavo had said his wife’s ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania, but his attorney, George Felos, said the service and interment took place yesterday in Clearwater, Fla.

The Schindlers opposed her cremation and had hoped to bury her in their adopted state of Florida.

The Christian Defense Coalition, which led prayer vigils and demonstrations in support of Terri Schiavo, said the “actions reveal the real Michael Schiavo and dispel any myth that he was a loving and caring husband to Terri for the past 15 years.”

“By this one repugnant act, Michael Schiavo has revealed what we and the family knew all along,” said the group’s director, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney. ” … This was a self-centered and hateful man who believed Terri died 15 years ago and was doing all within his power to see that Terri was dehydrated and starved to death.”

Mahoney said the actions call into question Michael Schiavo’s role as his wife’s guardian.

“For how could he have possibly looked out for her best interests when he felt she was already dead?” Mahoney said.

The Schindlers asserted their daughter, who left no written directive, never would have seriously expressed a wish to die. They point out Michael Schiavo made his claim only after he won $1.3 million in a malpractice suit settlement on Terri’s behalf and began seeing his live-in girlfriend Jodi Centonze, with whom he has two children.

The Schindler family says there is evidence Terri’s sudden brain injury was caused by Michael Schiavo himself, alleging a pattern of abusive behavior, medical records indicating trauma, and his court motion to ensure Terri was cremated immediately upon death.

Schiavo claimed Terri collapsed due to a potassium imbalance triggered by bulimia that caused her to suffer cardiac arrest. But the autopsy
report released Wednesday found no evidence to support that theory.

The report by the Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner also found no evidence of abuse, but did not rule it out.

In the 1992 malpractice trial, Schiavo argued he needed the money for long-term care for his wife, based on a life expectancy of another 50 years. But seven months after receiving the cash, the Schindlers argue, he began to withhold care and therapy, first ordering nurses to not give Terri antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, which could have resulted in her death.

In an interview with WND earlier this year, Terri’s brother Bobby Schindler said his family never believed Terri would want to die, contending Michael Schiavo’s actions indicate the “wishes” were fabricated.

“Which Michael are we to believe?” he asked. “The one who promised he would take care of his wife for rest of his life, or the who who says these were Terri’s death wishes.”

Editor’s note: “Life and Death in America” – a stunning special investigative report that starts with the Terri Schiavo story, but goes on to expose as never before America’s rapidly expanding euthanasia/”right-to-die” movement – is the focus of the May issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.

For background on the 15-year saga, read “The whole Terri Schiavo story.”

WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002 – far longer than most other national news organization – and exposing the many troubling, scandalous, and possibly criminal, aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Read WorldNetDaily’s unparalleled, in-depth coverage of the life-and-death fight over Terri Schiavo, including over 150 original stories and columns.

Court documents and other information are posted on the Schindler family website.

Links to all “Terri briefs” regarding the governor’s defense of Terri’s Law are on the Florida Supreme Court website, public information.