Equality In Death? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There is a clich" that death is the great equalizer. Surely when you are dead, wealth, beauty, intelligence and fame no longer matter. Not so, as I discovered last month. September 1997 will be remembered for two famous deaths: Princess Diana's and Mother Theresa's. There were countless TV specials about the life of Princess Diana following her death. Every network carried her funeral live. After the death of Mother Theresa just a week later, there were a handful of specials and some front page pictures.

In spite of all the pomp and ceremony, what I will remember about September actually occurred the week after Diana died. I was watching the nightly world news and the announcer had just spent the greater part of the show focusing on Diana. In the final minute, he mentioned that there had been another terrorist attack in Jerusalem and seven people had been killed. He then went on to remind viewers that there would be a special on Diana later that night.

What is it that makes us care about one person's passing more than another's? Few of us actually knew Princess Diana or Mother Theresa, yet we mourn as we would for close friends. At the same time seven people died anonymously in Jerusalem. Seven people, like us, who loved and hated and lived only to die on a busy street in the holy city. Do they not deserve our mourning? I am not heartless. I feel genuine sadness for Princess Diana. She was a woman who died before her time, leaving two young sons without a mother. I feel deep grief for the death of Mother Theresa. She was a saint who cared for those society has abandoned. But I mourn also for those seven anonymous human beings who died and appeared on the news for one brief instant. I mourn for the hundreds of thousands who died and do not get even that one moment. And I mourn that there is no equality, not even in death. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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