Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Dana Reeve, 1961-2006
Dana Reeve had a fierce grace. Under pressure, she embraced her personal struggles with dignity and humor. And always with the focus on the greater good. She filled her life with a love as clear and unflinching as her beautiful voice. Dana made the world a better place and we all shall miss her song terribly. -Susan Sarandon
Dana Reeve, widow of Christopher Reeve, has died of lung cancer at the age of 45. No, she didn't smoke.
Dana Reeve was an actress who married 'Superman' and they had a child together... and then suddenly he was paralyzed, and then he was dead, and then, a few months ago, she discovered she had lung cancer, and now she is dead. Sort of makes you think for a moment about the assumptions we all make about other folks' lives, and how good our own are.
I remember a few years ago, before he died, some "advocates" for the disabled were criticising Christopher Reeve for not "accepting" being paralyzed. Fuck that. The man fought. And fought and fought and fought. And good for him. In a time when most Americans are too immersed in themselves to fight for anything, and The Beloved Leader says we should all keep shopping to support the 'war effort' (and let's not talk about his own 'fighting' record), it was nice to see a man who, very publicly, refused to accept the cards he had been dealt and was willing to fight like Hell for more.
And after he died she continued to support the causes thw two of them cared about. There's not much more you can do.
But it does make you think, and wonder. At one point they were a "Golden Couple" -they had everything. And then, as it fell away, piece by piece, they maintained their dignity and sense of purpose, and it was a purpose that was meant to benefit others. That is strength and heroism. Compare it to hiding behind excuse after excuse blaming others, or going into hiding for a week after a hunting accident.
There are still heroes among us. It's just too bad some of them leave us so soon.