When Michael Elliott died, the last voice he heard was that of his ex-wife, his best friend.
In a short phone conversation moments before Elliott took his last breath, she told him what he wanted to hear.
“I told him that everything’s going to be all right,” Teresa Elliott told The Washington Post. “And Donald Trump has been impeached.”
What saddens me about this item is not that someone lied to a person in the last moments of his life, or the political nature of the story.
I know exiles who told a dying relative good news about their country, and the news were totally invented. The person on their deathbed had suffered horribly in their native country at the hands of a cruel dictatorship which for decades denied them their most basic rights, unlike Mr. Elliott, who reportedly collected Porches and founded a golf club in Oregon.
God knows what we would say while trying to ease a loved one’s last moments.
What saddens me is that this is news.
Back in the olden days there was a word of Latin origin people used: Decorum. There were notions of what was considered proper or improper behavior: If you demeaned yourself by lying to the dying in what would be regarded as a most private moment, you certainly didn’t brag about it, much less in public.
Nowadays those old notions have been pushed away in favor of political correctness and scoring political points.
After lying to the deceased, apparently the liar picked up the phone and alerted the media, which brings to mind this John Gielgud scene from Arthur (language NSFW)
In this age of social media and “reality” TV, losing our notions of what belongs in the public domain is more than just a character flaw. It is a self-inflicted wound on our right to privacy.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.