Public accolades to the dead should be more honest

Dear Editor,

I have heard it said that if there is nothing good to say of the dead, then say nothing.  I agree.  Still, I wonder …

I must wonder if locals are not getting too carried away, given recent departures.  There is no question that one was a fine gentleman, and a solid citizen; as for the other … well, that is another story, which is better left unsaid, and allowed to remain in its current disinfected state.  This is done in deference to family, loyalists, and courtesy.  But, I must appeal to friends and countrymen to endeavour more diligently to be honest with self and the record, whenever encomia are contemplated for the public domain and public consumption.

Why, not too long ago, I was sitting in church and listening in amazement to the endless tributes offered for another citizen; one who was a political figure and public servant, along with sundry other occupations.  He was a good person, they said.  He was this and that and the other – all majestic and immaculately splendid.  It was a transcendent moment; it was nauseating too.  I just happen to know that this fabled individual did not have one thin dime to spare to help bury the mother of his child.  It was a dime desperately needed.  But he was a good man; some even said a great one ….  Maybe, maybe not … I recall that passing, as I absorb those from now.  Perhaps in the haste to hold some out as epitomes of the glorious, there is some stumbling, and shades of misplaced enthusiasm.  Caution is advised.

Therefore, I say it is infinitely better, more honourable to both the living and the dead, if greater care is taken to pay tribute to the fullness of the facts, when these glittering accolades are contemplated. Let them be deserving to those gone; if not, there can occur the interring of integrity for those who are still alive and well, but who insist on going overboard.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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