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

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The Independent Online
Sir: While we grope for an appropriate tribute to the late Princess of Wales, we might remember that her unique quality was not to hide behind the obvious forms of charitable support by merely lending her name to a building or raising funds for her charities. She made a point of befriending - and it appears in a sustained way - people who were marginalised by society. This she did not from the patronising position of one believing she was "more fortunate than they". She recognised that she, like everyone, had a rag bag of problems but she understood that in some cases, given the way society is organised, people are disempowered by their problems.

Those wishing to pay a long lasting tribute to the Princess may like to feel they can do the same thing. She showed you do not need high-powered training to help; she showed the value of simple loving compassion and friendship. There are many people living in our communities who may be kindly and well looked after by professional carers but who have no family or friends to show that they care. Making the time and offering that friendship could readily be done, transforming community care into a reality.

ALISON RYAN

Director

Horticultural Therapy

Vallis Way, Somerset

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