Associated Press photo

Bob Schindler passed away today. He was known as Terri Schiavo’s father. As friend and noted bioethicist Wesley J. Smith put it, Bob’s heart literally broke when Terri died, and he never recovered.

In the family’s book A Life That Matters, Bob recalled theimmediate aftermath of losing the battle to save Terri’s life, thosesurreal days and hours around the hospice where she died and the areaaround their home.

“Somebody told us there was going to be a memorial,” Bob remembers. ”A nondenominational service somewhere in Pinellas Park. Everyone was exhausted, drained. I said, ‘Well, someone has to go,’ and a whole bunch of fingers pointed at me.

“The memorial was in a church – for the life of me, I can’t remember which one – and I went there right from the shop. It seemed like there were ten thousand people there. Even the balcony was packed. There were rabbis…black and white clergymen, two or three priests, a Muslim cleric. There was music. Catholics stood side by side with the Baptists, Methodists stood with Jews, everyone family, brought together by Terri.

“I heard people addressing the attendees. I was asked to stand, and I did, apologizing because I was wearing shorts and everybody else was dressed up. But nobody cared, and the sympathy that poured out from everyone, no matter what faith they were, or what color, or what profession, blew me away.

“I said to myself, Now here’s a miracle.”

Bob turned what energy he had left into trying to save other lives through the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation,where the family works tirelessly to protect the vulnerable and givevoice to the voiceless. They have needed help in that great battle forlife, and will need it all the more now.

May this man, with his great heart for the least among us, rest in peace.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....