Letter: Diana: memorial ideas, grief without tears, media manipulation

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a Church of England clergyman, I have conducted enough funerals and met enough bereaved people to know that grief is expressed in a variety of ways. Some will wish to weep, in private or in public; they should be assured that it is ok to do so. Others remain dry-eyed; the absence of tears does not automatically mean that they are uncaring, or repressed. They need to be assured that it is ok not to weep. Contrary to the impression created by your leader (3 September), emotional reserve is not the sole prerogative of the "Windsor Old Guard", but is the natural way of being of many ordinary people throughout this country.

On this day of widespread public mourning, I offer this plea; please respect our different ways of grieving, and do not jump to conclusions about the depth and sincerity of feelings, of the royals or anyone else, on the basis of their public display. Surely, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is required reading for our times.