When Charles Krauthammer shared the news that he had only a few weeks to live, Tammy tweeted the following. Beautifully said, it speaks to his dignity and strength:
Too many stories about people taking their lives. Here is a man who fought for life in the face of catastrophic tragedies. With the world's news, you can get the impression life is not worth living. Charles Krauthammer proves that wrong. Join me in prayers for him & his family.
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) June 8, 2018
On Thursday, Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative powerhouse Dr. Charles Krauthammer lost his battle to cancer at 68 years old. With the tragic announcement came a flood of well-wishes and warm memories shared from those touched by Krauthammer’s significant life.
As those who have followed Krauthammer’s career know, the intellectual giant suffered a freak spinal cord injury when he was just 22 years old and became mostly paralyzed for life. Despite the devastating injury, he finished his medical degree on time and became a monumental political influence, starting from the Left side of the aisle and moving to the Right.
A letter penned by Krauthammer to a man he met at a political gathering in Washington, D.C., who would later also suffer a spinal cord accident that left him paralyzed, perfectly highlights Krauthammer’s resilient spirit and blazing compassion for others….
Dear Mr. Jenkins,
I heard about your accident. I’m so sorry. I enjoyed meeting you last year and am deeply sympathetic to your new and most harrowing situation. As you know, I’ve been there.
I know full well how difficult things are at the beginning and often how hopeless they seem. I also do know what’s possible. And it turns out to be quite a lot.
I don’t pretend it’s everything. But a good and productive and deeply enjoyable life is possible. What it required in my case was the simple determination to keep going in the direction I was headed. I found that I could do psychiatry and then a journalism career at a totally even par with my colleagues.
Your accident is occurring much later in life than mine. (I was 22.) Which presents its own challenges. On the other hand, you have so many years of experience and much respect and admiration from friends, colleagues and family accumulated over a lifetime. They will serve you well and help you through what will, at first, be significant challenges.
I write you because I know the challenges firsthand. I know how discouraging they can be initially. But I also know, with absolute certainty, that they can be accommodated and even overcome and that a good life is possible.
I’m fully aware of how terribly discouraging it is to have to put in twice the effort for gains that seem so meager at the beginning. But I can assure you that it can be done. And then it is rewarded.
I don’t mean to sugarcoat things. Life is more difficult with a spinal cord injury. But the obstacles are not insurmountable.
I know this is all scant consolation, and it is not really meant [as] that. It is simply meant to give you a different perspective on your future. Mine is from the rearview mirror. I know what actually can be. I also know that, for me, so soon after your accident, it is prospective — you are looking into a future that is necessarily unclear to you. I wish only to assure you from my own experience of 45 years post-accident that it can be a very good life indeed.
I hope this is helpful. I wish you all the best in your recovery.