Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Once Upon a Time ...

I thanked my friend for letting me know, and gently placed the phone back in its receiver.

I knew in my heart she was already dead.

I paused briefly as a surge of memories rushed through my head. Her young smile. Her wedding, her beautiful dress. Her playing with her children. The way she would stand with her hands on her hips. The way her hand felt in mine. The way she would look at everyone with love. How much she wanted to make a difference in this world.

I picked up the phone to dial the number for my sister in England. It was very early in the morning there, I would be the first to break the news to her.

"Oh my god" she gasped. "They killed her".

No more words were necessary, nor offered. Indeed, those very words resonated someplace in my soul, someplace that didn't want to accept this horrid reality as a mere accident. The unfairness and cruelty of it all better denied lest it become overwhelming. I was unable to disagree with my sister that night, and that doubt, that nagging betrayal, has stayed with me even to this day.

As I watched the events unfold on my neighbours' TV that night, shock dulled the sting that would eventually follow. Reports attempted to offer the world hope, but I shook my head sadly and said "She's already dead..."

Princesses are supposed to have fairytale lives. Princesses are supposed to live happily ever after, loved by those around her, admired from afar.

My Princess was dead... And it wasn't pretty.

In many ways, Diana was MY Princess, belonging very much to MY generation, and her death rocked me. Not just because I am British, or a royalist, or even that I had actually met her (she was an amazing inspiration to me).

In the end, it was the grand unfairness of it all. The sense that some underlying evil had been invoked, and as a result the happiness she seemed just about to obtain, the very happiness the world felt she deserved, was ripped from her prematurely and irrecoverably.

And still years later, the feeling, the suspicion, lingers, unanswered.

And now, today, I read in the paper that Diana's own fears and suspicions may now spark an inquiry into her death. Part of me is not sure if or what I want to know, and the other part knows that only that answer will ever fill the void left by such a travesty.

Yet, the fairy tale needs an ending...

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