Sunday, November 2, 2008

Capitalizing on Grief

Today is one of those unusual Sundays when our family would just go home to rest after hearing mass. When they called me downstairs for lunch, the tv in the dining area was tuned in to ASAP and it featured various singers serenading Lorna Tolentino with different sad songs. It was meant to be a tribute to the late Rudy Fernandez. However, looking at her, I couldn’t help but be disgusted with what the show was doing. Her face was focused one too many times to show how sad the whole thing is making her feel.

ASAP’s roster of balladeers sung her different songs—all of which were dolorous. And who are those people to her anyway? Most of them weren’t even close to her. You see, it was just pointless. I mean, imagine: if you lost someone very dear to you, how would you feel if strangers start singing you—albeit really beautifully—songs that just make you feel the loneliness even more? I saw her look at some of the singers from time to time, and the expression on her face was just empty.

In a way, I couldn’t help but suspect they were just capitalizing on Lorna Tolentino’s grief. It was as if they did not even consider how that segment would make her feel. I couldn’t help but feel sad for her as she sat there on a stool at the center of the stage. It was as if the singers were just triggering negative emotions instead of making her feel better. The entire idea of singing sad songs to someone who just recently became a widow is just wrong. It is psychologically unhealthy. It was just heartbreaking to see that whole scenario, just like when cameramen focus on wailing people who just lost a loved one. Well let’s not be na├»ve here; those things sell. But hey, how about respect?

So maybe, just maybe, the thought was there. They wanted to give tribute to one of the most renowned local actors. But in the case of that particular segment, they missed the point altogether. I don’t know what happened next. I went back to my room because I just couldn’t find anything entertaining about capitalizing on someone’s grief.

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