Two years have gone by since the horrific "wrong-way" crash, and last night HBO debuted its documentary on the families involved. It's hard to watch. Besides the picture of Diane Schuler dead on the grass, the surveillance video is so eerie to watch. Besides the images, it made me wince to see the Schuler family grap at every straw they can to "clear Diane's name."
Sometimes it is hard to accept a painful event, especially if there is no closure. It seems that the Schuler family is struggling to come to terms with what happened or that she could have done something "bad". It struck me that the alcohol and marijuana in her system is being contested so vehemently, even though they admitted she smoked pot on occasion to help her sleep. They are insistent on a second autopsy and have latched onto a "medical" situation as the root cause, such as her abscess tooth.
Separating the person from the action, Diane is human, her friends and family loved her, and she made a choice to drink and smoke pot at some point that had tragic consequences. In addition, exhuming her body for an autopsy may revisit the physical state of her body, but there is no way to trace her mental and emotional well-being. Perhaps she had a psychotic break or a panic attack, either of which would not leave a trace in her system like BAC or THC. There may have been secrets she had, lingering pain, unspoken feelings. There is no black box for the mind.
A commenter on HBO's site said it best, there are no winners in this situation. One can only hope that the loved ones left behind can find peace with what transpired, accept what happened and her humanity, and forgive.