(CNN) -- Terri Schiavo's death Thursday prompted almost immediate and widespread reaction.
The 41-year-old brain-damaged woman died nearly two weeks after doctors removed the feeding tube that had kept her alive.
"He was crying."
Russ Hyden, about his friend Michael Schiavo, Terri Schiavo's widower
"I appreciate the example of grace and dignity that [Schiavo's relatives] have displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honored Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others. "The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts or questions, the presumption should be in favor of life."
"It is nothing else but murder. It is a victory of the culture of death over life. This is not a natural death; it is an imposed death."
Cardinal Renato Martino of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"Mike's very upset; my sister's crying. It's very emotional. It's been a long, hard fight, but I believe she's happy. Terri's probably happy now to be free and not be shown all over TV. I would imagine if it was me I'd be very embarrassed, everybody looking at my picture lying there."
John Centonze, brother of Jodi Centonze, Michael Schiavo's fiancee
"This is indeed a sad day for the nation; this is a sad day for the family. Their faith in God remains consistent and strong. They are absolutely convinced that God loves Terri more than they do. They believe that Terri is ultimately at peace with God himself."
David Gibbs, an attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler
"I'm saddened by her passing, and I'm pained by it. It's unnecessary, in the end. ... She was starved and dehydrated to death. To me, it was merciless rather than merciful."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who supported the Schindlers
Terri "felt the solidarity of all of you ... by caresses on her hair, holding of her hand, praying with her until her very last minutes." "This is not only a death, with all the sadness that brings, this is a killing. For that, we not only grieve that Terri has passed, but we grieve that our nation has allowed such an atrocity as this, and we pray that it will never happen again."
The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, who was with Terri shortly before her death
"Terri hopefully is now finding some peace."
Jay Wolfson, a former guardian for Terri
"It's heartbreaking. The beginning of life and the end of life, I think, is something we need to learn to do better. Down the road, we should reflect on this experience and maybe look at some of our laws. "Her experience will heighten awareness of the importance of families dealing with end-of-life issues, and that is an incredible legacy. "I wish I could have done more. That's the sadness in my heart."
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
"Today I join with all those mourning Terri Schiavo's passing. I am deeply saddened by her loss. I pray for her mother and father, her family and all those involved in this regrettable loss of life. May God bless her memory."
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee
"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another."
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas