Writing for the Washington Post, blogger and columnist Charles Lane shares his own experience with the horrible process of losing a child, and a regret:
I regret that, unlike the Santorums, who presented the body of their child to their children, we did not show Jonathan’s body to our other son, who was six years old at the time. When I told him what had happened, his first question was, “Well, where is the baby?” I tried to explain what a morgue is, and why the baby went there. It was awkward and unsatisfactory -- too abstract. In hindsight, I was not protecting my son from a difficult conversation, I was protecting myself.He also says this about Santorum, which rings true to me:
I’m not defending Rick Santorum the presidential candidate. From what little I know about him, he seems to have his own issues with moralizing and judging. To the extent he has used his family’s experience to make a point about abortion, I object.
But I am defending the right of the Santorums and all families to grieve an infant’s death in accordance with their personal needs and beliefs. My plea is for a little more respect regarding the way people deal with loss, and a little more maturity about physical contact with the dead. If that puts me in sympathy, for a moment, with this right-wing politician, so be it.
Jonathan’s death was probably the hardest moment of my life. But actually touching his body was a source of comfort and the first step in going on with life. Not weird.
There are ample reasons to criticize Rick Santorum's politics, his demeanor, his worldview. He's the sort of Republican who simply wants to redirect the intrusions of huge government into other areas, which makes him unacceptable to me. But I've seen a lot of terrible behavior from his detractors. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention that some of the most nasty invective has come from certain quarters of the Right.
I realize it's probably a forlorn hope, but I don't think it's too much to ask, so I'll put this as plainly as possible: let's try to keep our partisanship from turning us into assholes.