Michelle Stirling-Anosh’s column on ‘our ability to mourn,’ in the August 30 edition of The Advocate, left me both puzzled and annoyed.
Stirling-Anosh seems to have a template for the grief process which left her unable to see or feel the emotions surrounding Jack Layton’s funeral on Saturday last.
It’s a pity she wasn’t moved by that event; millions of others were. Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of respect she evidences toward the man himself. Her comments on Layton’s “legacy command” as she puts it, indicates that she has little regard or sympathy for the values Layton espoused and urged on others.
Stirling-Anosh’s view that life should always be approached pessimistically, that sorrow is “an infection,” perhaps holds the key to her rather negative and graceless response to the farewell accorded to a man that many saw as great.
Sorrow is the natural human response to loss; optimism is a healthy alternative to despair. That Stirling-Anosh fails to understand that is unfortunate, for it leaves her ill-equipped to understand the co-mingling of warm, humorous reminiscence with grief.
She apparently could not appreciate the sorrow and grief that pervaded the whole event as it unfolded before us. The prayers — expressed in music — the recalling of events in Jack’s life, the heartbreaking regard for him expressed by the eulogists all spoke of mourning shared and well done.
Perhaps it is simply difficult for Stirling-Anosh to appreciate anything done by a convention of New Democrats. Her stance on the political spectrum seems to make that impossible.
Too bad; she missed a great occasion of publicly expressed grief that assisted millions to mourn for a truly great man.