Some nights ago, I dreamt that I was attending a funeral service. But it was not just an ordinary one. Way too unimaginable that inside the huge, magnificently designed church, I was sitting alongside with people dressed and covered so properly – men on their tuxedos and women with hats on their heads – I thought they were just members of the alta desociedad or the diplomatic corps. And they were all Whites. And they were all speaking in sharp British accent, I couldn’t even understand what they were talking about.
Later would I find out that I was sitting behind two young boys named William and Harry. That beside me was a a guys in his 40s, I guess, Tony Blair. That the two boys were joined by their father and their uncle, both named Charles, and their two aunts. That in front of us would be seen two old women, one accompanied by her husband, whom the attendees bow to.
And later would I learn I was attending the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales. (The following video would be the very moment when my dream happened.)
I was sniffing most the time during the service, good thing Princes Charles, William and Harry, Charles – the Earl of Spencer – and Diana’s two sisters didn’t notice this much. Until the moment when all in the Westminster Abbey and of the United Kingdom offered a minute of deep silence for the woman whom they so regarded as “The People’s Princess”, they heard my sniffs, turned their head at me (as if they wondered who I am to grieve with them), and… Poof. Naalimpungatan na ako.
Obviously, I wanted to know more about it. I then researched for some videos which might match with what I dreamt about, and I found the one above, along with the other parts of that solemn service. As I watched the clips, I could feel the people missing Diana so much. Even though that historic event was so 14 years ago.
I was moved so much when I heard the eulogy by Charles, Earl of Spencer, for his sister, who died in a fatal car crash in a tunnel in Paris on August 31st, 1997. (Wait, I was 5 years old na pala here.) He said that she was a person possessed with a strong sense of compassion, humanity, nationality, vulnerability, and even insecurity. As I searched for more articles about her, I started to admire her for, aside from her so many causes, she still sought to be low-profile despite her status as Princess of Wales; that made her life so complicated, thus “the girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.”
I think and believe whatever he said in his eulogy also applies to us all, breaking the Great Divide among culture, tradition, even the social status. For Diana, holding the title no one ever held after her was somehow synonymous to a bizarre life she faced, even to the point that she became a victim of the severe scrutiny of the public eye despite her constituency among the rejected, causing her despair. “You will not receive praise or payment for [one’s goodness], and others will mistake goodness for weakness, but it resonates among people you won’t ever meet.” (Zafra, 2009) Besides, she never sought the attention of the British media in the so many causes she attended to. Through this character that she maintained, may we learn not to brag our ‘artificial’ goodness too much in order to be noticed, but instead go on continuing this and all the other good endeavors we have in mind for these to be genuine for long.
Come, enjoy rewards and crowns I have prepared for you. (Tavener, ‘Song for Athene’)