Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 9, 2022

Marinella Beretti Died Alone

The body of Marinella Beretti has been found — approximately two years after her death.

The 70 year-old Italian woman was not a victim of a kidnapping or lost in the woods or on a list of missing persons. She lived and apparently died alone in her house in northern Italy.

What makes her story even more tragic is that Beretti’s decomposed body was found by members of the local fire brigade who responded to complaints that a tree had fallen in her overgrown and obviously neglected garden.

Beretti’s body was found sitting in a chair in the living room of her home. Based on the level of decay to her body, the medical examiner has determined that she died sometime toward the end of 2019 — alone and forgotten.

Did Beretti have any surviving family? If so, no relatives have come forward. Did she have any friends? If she had friends, not one of them reported her missing. None of her neighbors noticed or were puzzled by her prolonged absence. No one knocked on her door. No one called authorities to stop by her home to do a welfare check.

No one — not a single person!

The cause of her death remains unknown and police are investigating whether she had any surviving family.

Mario Landriscina, the mayor of Como, the city where Beretti lived, has arranged for the local government to take care of the funeral arrangements. The mayor has also invited the townsfolk to attend Beretti’s funeral.

Elena Bonetti, Italy’s minister for family and equal opportunities said, “What happened to Marinella Beretti in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences. Remembering her life is the duty of a community that wants to remain united. Taking care of each other is the experience of families, institutions, of our being citizens.”

Bonetti added, “No one should be alone.” And yet, Beretti was alone, to the very end.

Although the cause of Beretti’s death is uncertain, an autopsy may reveal clues about the cause of her death. That remains to be seen. However, regardless of how precise the autopsy by the medical examiner, the autopsy will not reveal the condition of Beretti’s soul. Nor will the autopsy reveal whatever bruises her heart might have sustained as a result of living alone and forgotten.

Life is extremely hard for many people. Reflecting on Beretti’s lonely life and death has reminded me that each of us have the opportunity to leave either the marks of hurt or healing in the lives of others, the kinds of things that an autopsy can never reveal.

May we always be aware of and sensitive to those who are struggling to survive from day to day and offer them the healing and refreshing balm of our friendship, love, and kindness. And if we notice their absence, may we move in their direction to check on their welfare and then do for them what Jesus would do.

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