Saturday, December 29, 2007

The American Way of Grieving

The LA Times reports that Carlos Sousa Sr., whose son was killed on Christmas by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo,
said he planned legal action in response to his son's death.

"Put yourself in my shoes," he said. "Money isn't going to replace my son. But I have to live with this for the rest of my life."
If it's true that money can't replace his son (and it is true), it must also be true that money cannot assuage the pain and emotional distress caused by his son's horrific death. Why, then, was Mr. Sousa so quick to hire a lawyer, one James Geagan, and to threaten legal action? Is the death of a loved one an opportunity for financial gain?

The American way of death may be the overblown funeral, but the American way of grieving has become the hasty resort to litigation.