Dana Reeve, R. I. P.
I noted the passing of Dana Reeve yesterday, but not with any particular sadness, even though she was a mere twoscore and four years of age. The absence of any real sadness was not because I did not admire or respect her, but rather, in her unique case, precisely because I did. She earned my admiration, and that of countless others, during the nearly 10 years she spent encouraging, supporting, and caring for her late husband, the actor Christopher Reeve, who starred in several Superman movies before he was paralyzed from the neck down in a horseback-riding accident in 1995. He set a noble example for us by his conspicuous bravery, she by her measureless devotion. Their relationship was greater than the mere sum of its parts, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine either of them, alone, accomplishing what both of them did together, after his tragic accident, on behalf of paralysis victims everywhere. Marriage was intended to be a full partnership, and if ever any couple was "equally yoked," to use the Apostle Paul's felicitous expression, it was this pair.
As a Latter-day Saint, I believe in a life beyond this one, where the thread of interrupted relationships may be picked up once again, thenceforth and forevermore unimpeded by the constraints that so limit us in mortality. I also believe that marriage was intended to last beyond the grave. Thus, after Christopher Reeve's gallant battle ended with his passing in October of 2004, it seemed requisite with justice that his loyal and loving companion should not be long delayed in following him into the paradise of God, and that nobody should grieve over the fact that her life lasted a mere 44 years. I rather doubt that Dana herself would mourn for those "missing" years of her life, for what might have been had death not intervened in this March of 2006 and issued her its summons.
I now turn the thread of my remarks over to the author of this article from today's Jewish World Review, who makes the point far more eloquently than I ever could. We miss her, of course, but we know that our loss is her late husband's gain. Requiescat in pace.