Diana, Queen of Our Hearts and Conscience

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Up to this point, my husband and I have not used the Internet to convey any of our personal feelings. Yes, we have taken stand on issues that we are able to intellectualize but never yet on topics that affect our personal emotions and thoughts. Today, I for myself, feel it is time to change. The occasion that caused this reaction in myself is the death of Princess Diana. In my search of my own emotions I have asked myself many times this week why I feel what I do. I am not a follower of the Royal Family. Neither do I buy books or magazines that write about them. Finally, I do not watch TV coverage that brings yet another tale of the Royal's adventures to satisfy the curiosity of the masses. So, why do I feel Diana's death is so very different?

I remember the death of many dignitaries and others held in high esteem by the people. I remember the funeral of John F. Kennedy, a man who had great impact on my thought. Although all these people had a lot of meaning to me and their death made me sad, I just did not feel the urge to shed a tear. I don't even view the death of our bodies as the end to our existence. Death, generally, does not have a great impact on my emotions. Certainly, like everyone would grief for a parent, there is not a day in my life that I don't think of my father who would, if he had lived, have been 99 years old just this week. I miss him yet my grief is not for him. Rather, it is for myself. But, today is different. With Diana's death I experienced the feeling of an ending. Strangely though it was not her end that moved me but an end to something bigger than life itself. In my heart I know I have felt this before, yet I just can't remember when.

Even stranger is the certainty I feel that this end has given rise to a new beginning. I feel as if, today, the world has changed. Today is not another day of grayness but a day of such brightness my eyes have never seen. Today I can see, yesterday I was blind, but, above all, my inner voice tells me, "I am not alone." Is this the result of the death of Diana - the death of a fairy tale princess, the death of someone who symbolized so many things to so many people or am I just grieving over death itself?

No, I am not a single mom. I don't even have children. I am not divorced, and I am not hunted by photographers. I am not famous nor do I live my life through hers. My life is full and I cannot identify with the pain she has experienced. No, this tale is not about me at all. This is truly a tale of our world. While I search my soul for the meaning her death could possibly have, I cannot help but think that her death symbolizes absolutely nothing, it makes no sense and it is as empty and black as the hole in my heart. Yet her death caused me to see, to feel and give credence to those dreaded feelings of emptiness and loneliness which linger behind the scenes of our daily life. Diana's death, to me, meant having to face all that which I have been trying to avoid for the longest period of time.

Watching Diana's funeral on television made me believe that I am not alone in this. It feel hope that all those who believed that it was harmless to buy junk magazines and newspapers depicting Diana in her most private moments will start to reconsider their actions Somehow, I hope that we find it in our hearts to return to a form of humanity that can respect life, that can have compassion, show forgiveness and, most of all, a society that is able to feel again. I am proud to live in a community in which a local grocery store chain has stopped selling distasteful tabloid newspapers. I hope that society will not forget.

Yes, we cry for her because we will miss her, but more than this, we have finally learned to cry for all those Diana had learned to cry for long ago. Today our tears reach out to the lost souls of this world. Today we cry for the poor, the sick and all those who Diana held dear to her heart. In love and respect for Diana, we have learned to demand that those of us hardened by life not only break the barriers of protocol but also the barriers around their hearts. Her death has made us open our eyes to those we have avoided for centuries - the outcasts of our societies! Diana had, conveniently, taken upon herself, our responsibility of being human. Diana faced her responsibilities like a soldier. Today our solider has left us. We are now alone. This task is now ours. We must now become responsible for our own actions and, finally, learn to stand on the side of truth. We should never forget.

I know that not everyone feels the way I do. While I respect them I wonder how it feels to watch thousands, maybe even millions, of people crying without being able to cry with them. This, in itself, is so sad. I wonder if blaming Diana for her "outcome" is not a way to dismiss one's own feeling - making her death alright and not something that requires grief. I wonder why hiding emotions is considered a positive characteristic. I wonder how it feels not to feel. I just can't imagine. I don't know how our world became so cold. I don't know when, in our history, this happened. I don't know who it was who said that this was right. I don't understand why people did this to themselves. What I do know is that I never want to become as emotionless and as cold as I would need to be in order not to be affected, in some way, by what happened in our world this week.

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Posted April 14, 1998
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