Thursday, August 2, 2012

Eva Rausing's Death and Hans Rausing's Need for Penance

Remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power. Never forget that you can still do your share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and frustrations and disappointments. (Abraham Heschel)

I was thinking about the sad details of the story about Hans Kristian Rausing, the son of a billionaire, whose wife Eva was addicted to drugs as he was. So much opportunity, wealth and potential influence darkened and lost by the demon of drug addiction. It destroyed their family. According to news reports, apparently in a bizarre ending to Eva's life of addiction, "for more than two months Mr. Rausing went about his business while the corpse of his wife Eva decomposed in their luxury home in central London." After his wife died of heart failure combined with drug abuse, he left her buried beneath a pile of clothing and garbage bags, in their home. Two enormously wealthy people, with great potential, gave into drug addiction and lost sight of what's really important in life. Their own children had to be taken from them and cared for by relatives. Hans Rausing recently pleaded guilty to preventing the proper burial for his wife. She died without dignity because of drugs.
It says in the Bible that "To those who are given much, much is expected." Though they did give to anti-drug charities during their marriage, they could have done so much more, so much with all their wealth. But they gave into their demons and the demons got them in the end.
Hans Kristian Rausing is still alive. He owes it to his children, to the memory of his wife, to his parents and hers to pull himself together, to do penance and overcome his addiction, once and for all. He can still do a lot of good with his life. In my humble opinion, he should spend the rest of his life, helping others and using his wealth to make a difference in the world. That might be the only thing that could save him from self-destruction at this point.