Anorak | Sian O’Callaghan’s Death Is Invaded By The Grief Circus

Sian O’Callaghan’s Death Is Invaded By The Grief Circus

by | 28th, March 2011

SIAN O’Callaghan : As Christopher Halliwell is charged with the 22-year-old’s murder, thousands gather in Swindon to pay tribute to the victim.

It is a sign of a community come together over something terrible. Sad, indeed, that it takes something awful to bring a community together. The locals are sharing a common feeling. The self-interested individual is able to empathise with another man’s pain in moment of humanity.

From another angle, it is a grief fest, a chance for strangers to join in the big story and make it part of their lives.

At Swindon FC, the players and the fans stopped for a minute’s silence. Can so many people who never met Sian O’Callaghan feel so very deeply affected by her murder?

When did orchestrated public grief become the British way? Well, we know the answer to that: when Princess Diana died. (When James Bulger was killed in 1993, did strangers sign a book or place teddies and flowers on his grave?) The flowers, candlelit vigils and books of condolence soon became the done thing. But Whereas Diana’s death triggered a spontaneous outpouring of emotion, the remembering of others, like Baby P , is contrived . We look not to the victim but at the mourners and the news media that broadcasts the grief in hushed tones, shoving cameras into careworn faces and asking people how they feel.

Who has the biggest balloon? Who weeps the most? Which newspaper has the biggest campaign? It is now routine to show other how much you care and so prove how good a person you are.

This Is Wiltshire reports:

IT WAS the send off that the country had come to expect from a town united in grief. Thousands of people packed

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Posted: 28th, March 2011 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink