A father’s grief

Listening to Mohammed Al Fayed, one’s first reaction is that the man is mad. You only have to read the report on the BBC News website. But the man is mad with grief: “Those who mourn may mimic madness to the observer’s eye” [Freud, ‘Mourning and Melancholia’, in Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. xiv (1914 – 16), (Hogarth)]. He wants the world to know what he thinks is the truth, but my only feeling is that there is something almost indecently voyeuristic in the reporting of the Diana inquest, and in our obsession with the events of a decade ago. Enough truly is enough: it is not the cost, the huge fees being earned by people who should know better, the titillation, the toe-curling revelations from the likes of Paul Burrell. It is, rather, seeing a deeply unsympathetic character, the pantomime villain, gripped by a madness that there but for the grace of God each one of us may suffer.

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