I had to share my friend’s death with thousands of others. Because it was an open funeral I had to queue just to show my respects. I stood behind a woman mouthing off about his public “history” for 30 minutes listening to her BS, just so I could say goodbye to my friend. My memories of trips together and adventures shared were being thought over as people who never even met him stood around and gaped.
I went home full of un-relieved grief, it was the most beautiful and simultaneously the worst funeral I have ever attended. Because it wasn’t for those who mattered.
The little part left for those he cared about was so insignificant on the day, I felt like I had attended the wrong funeral.
I feel for Paul Holmes’ friends and family today, they will most likely be struggling with a similar issue. As someone who let the New Zealand public into his life, who are they to block them from the public remembrance in his death? They deserve the space and privacy to remember who he really was to them. Not to New Zealand. When a public figure resigns from their job that is the time to remember the body of work behind them.
When someone has resigned some time ago, and has just died, this is the time to remember the person. Who they were to you, what you shared. If you never shared anything with that person, no matter how familiar you are with their face, your outpourings are completely irrelevant to anyone but yourself.By all means, send polite sympathies to the family. Talk to your friends who also did not know them, about your feelings on the matter. But please, for the love of all that is kindness and tact, keep your mouth shut in public for just a little while.
Imagine they are a much disliked work colleague but their sister works with you. No matter what you feel about them personally, you wouldn’t sit in the staffroom mouthing off about how much better it is now they are gone.
Because for someone out there it’s not better. It’s the worst day of their life. And it’s none of your damn business.