There can be few adults who have not had direct experience of someone dying ("I didn't know her: why did I cry so much?", 14 September). Diana's death provided an opportunity for many to reflect on their own losses and, perhaps, to grieve more fully. I think that this in no small part fuelled the feeling of "national grief".

Recent events helped unlock for me grief that had been buried since my father died in a road accident 34 years ago, when I was 10. At the time the attitude was "least said, soonest mended". I was given no details and was told the news by my primary headmaster. I was kept away from the funeral lest it upset me.

It has taken all these years for me to face the grieving process. Time had not healed the emotional wounds. They had simply been camouflaged. Diana's death came just as I was beginning to deal with some of these issues. I watched the funeral as a little boy of 10 and grieved not for Diana but for my father. The next day I went for the first time to the crematorium and paid my own tribute to my father.

Brian Marshall

Great Waltham, Essex