I was never a fan of Ronald Reagan and that's very much an understatement. But when the man was felled by Alzheimer's, my heart went out to him. Yes, even to Nancy. She wasn't just "Reagan's wife who I basically disliked", then she was the wife of a man who was losing touch with everything he had known and loved. Losing touch even with himself, and it was sad.
When he passed I mourned the passing of a former President of our United States out of respect for him and out of compassion for a wife who had lost her life-long companion.
Senator Ted Kennedy was also deserving of the same respect in his passing as does his wife who must also now go on without her life-long companion. He was a driving force in our nation's history and the last in a long line of one of our country's most notable families. Whether one agreed with his principles or politics is irrelevant now.
Death is the great leveler. In death all things are equal. There are no politics. There is no bipartisanism. There is no liberal, no conservative....no nothing. There is only an end to a life that - hopefully in some beneficial way - contributed to the world they left behind.
I grieve over his loss. I grieve for the pain he suffered and endured. I personally grieve over his loss to our nation. And in a strange sense, I grieve for the souls of all those insensitive, vindictive and cold individuals still enjoying the gift of life who cannot even manage a respectful "Rest In Peace" without jaded sarcasm, hateful words, innuendo or seizing the opportunity to trash a human being - a human being who has gave more to his country than many who so ghoulishly criticize him even now - and a man no longer able to defend or contradict his critics. 'Defend and contradict critics', by the way, was not Senator Kennedy's style. He never exchanged in bile bantering. It was beneath him. He had class which is more than can be said of his Death Panel of Critics.
When it is their time to leave this mortal coil, I wonder if people will say of them: "They did something beneficial for the world they left behind". Or will they be remembered as bitter, tasteless, cruel and petty?
Right now I think it will be the later and what's more, I don't think that would bother them much - either their legacy or my opinion of them. I would say I dislike them but, truly, they aren't worth any more words than are contained in this post.
God Rest and Grant Peace To The Soul of Senator Kennedy.