Let’s get real. Death tends to exalt people. Casual acquaintances become best friends when they die and the terrible things said about them in life are often replaced by glowing eulogies. We’ve all seen this. Some of that is to be expected.

In the case of Anne Heche, a clearly troubled person, I’m bothered by this placing someone on death’s pedestal when they could have killed any number of completely innocent people.

The felony DUI investigation into her horrific car crash is reported to have found cocaine and fentanyl in her system. There were three separate crashes involved in the span of 30 minutes, the first two reportedly hit and runs. The third was Heche leaving the road and plowing her Mini Cooper through the wall of a Mar Vista home and injuring and nearly killing a woman inside. The house and car caught fire. The home was a total loss.

Days later, Anne Heche was declared brain dead and the LAPD case dropped as is standard with the death of a person under investigation.

"My Friend Dahmer" Premiere - 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Fe

News of her death spread quickly and the exaltation began. A family representative said in a release,

“We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact."

Most of which I’m sure is true. And many will say the events that she said happened in her life in the 1980s when she spent her teen years in Ocean City, New Jersey were enough cause for pity.

She claimed her father sexually abused her. Then died of AIDS. Just months later, her older brother died in a car crash. Terribly traumatic for sure.

But at what point does the pity card expire in one’s life? Heche was 53 years old. She had the time and certainly the means to try to wrest back control of that trauma through expert help and not make it other people’s problem. Instead, she nearly killed an innocent woman minding her business inside her own Los Angeles home and risked the lives of countless others.

Maybe I have my own reasons for being sensitive to what might have been. But I won’t be joining this chorus praising Heche and petitioning for her sainthood.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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