Jian Ghomeshi – What Could Have Been.

My grief means longing for “what could have been”.

What a loss.  What a soul wrenching change.

Today, as I watched Jian Ghomesi coming out of the Toronto Courthouse with his lawyer, I said aloud, “Jian!  What stopped you from getting help.  You of ALL people knew your behaviour was unacceptable!”

Jian Ghomeshi

Jian Ghomeshi

His deeds don’t match his face.  A polished interviewer who gleaned more information out of people than an intelligence agency, he had a manner that elicited trust, safety and welcome intimacy.

Famous people, well used to the endless ploys of media, would sincerely thank him for the time they had with him.

Not so for the women he choked, slapped and frightened when the microphone wasn’t on and when no one else was around.

He’s going to plead “not guilty” says his lawyer.  The whole mess will be in the hands of law courts.  May any who have to be involved be blessed with the strength to withstand the proceedings.

Today, as I watched the video blog showing Jian leaving the chaotic media melee at the Courthouse and, later, walk up the sidewalk to enter his mother’s home, many different feelings created a mud puddle of confusion.  I had to get to my core.  I’ve been feeling punk over this long enough.  I took a deep breath with a conviction to break through my sadness.

Sadness for whom?  Certainly for the women.  I celebrate their courage for speaking up. They’ve inadvertently facilitated a massive shift in transparency.  Let’s hope it continues to reveal the truth about the kind of abuse all sorts of women have had to swallow.  Try to forget about.  Strive to overcome.

Now when I tune into the program Jian hosted for years – “Q” – I hear a different voice, a different style, a different depth of intimacy.  The interviewers are doing a great job through this tough time.  I support them 100%.  But they don’t YET have the “it” that we came to appreciate in Jian.

The allegations broke open a month ago.  At first I thought someone was trying to de-throne him.  I hoped we’d end up finding this was simply an example of the CBC making another stupid decision to allay financial concerns.

Then one woman spoke up about being hurt by Jian.  Then others bravely stepped forward.

How could I have been so proud of this man?  His professional style gave a great deal to Canada.  He was spreading “Q” into the States with results that were atypical.  He was a Canadian whose reputation had preceded him and his program was one deemed worthy of hosting media-weary celebrities and VIPs.

I grieve over all that could have been.  He was a hope.  He proved how one could be astutely humane, respectful and compassionate and still be at the top of the media pile.  He was the antithesis of arrogant, demanding and confronting behaviour that comes into play because of sound-bites, time constraints and demands for some unique insight.  He eked the truer nature of the person. We were given the human being more often than the glitz and glamour of a life falsely perceived as glorious.  He taught me to have great compassion for those carrying the overloaded backpack of elusive and frightening fame.

Jian gave me an opportunity to be proud of the way my country respected and revered a man of Iranian descent at a time when we needed to see how hearts of all cultures can beat as one.  I saw him as a true example of a voice, being borne out of a different culture, welcomed by so many.

Yes, I grieve for all that could have been.  I feel gypped.  I feel fooled.  I am reminded that this world can dupe, manipulate and coerce. I trusted Jian Ghomeshi as though he was my brother.

I wish I had hope. We’ve all been altered in some way and it’s not finished yet.

What could have been will never be – no matter the outcome of the case.

20 thoughts on “Jian Ghomeshi – What Could Have Been.

  1. I miss Q with Jian too. Yes, he was a fantastic interviewer. No one can erase his contributions to the CBC.
    At the end of the day, he was a radio personality doing a job. Why do we keep insisting on projecting all sorts of feelings on people we don’t know at all.
    Celebrity blurs the lines between reality and a fiction we help perpetuate. We’re just as much to blame for buying into the illusion, as the people that try to create it.
    I have compassion for everyone involved, including Jian. I hope he can eventually recover and come out a better man.

  2. It’s such a shame when yet another hero is toppled a we find their Public and Private personas don’t match. A drink problem from someone in a high pressure world might be forgiven and even understood, but violence towards others is unforgivable.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  3. I’m not familiar with this story…been in a bit of a personal fog, so haven’t been in tune with a lot going on in the big world. Sounds sad for everyone. And it hurts us all when we lose faith in someone that seemed so trustworthy, so able to speak for the masses. Thought provoking post. ~ Sheila

    • You’ve caught the gist of my feelings, Sheila – it’s a jolt to learn of such a dark side of someone who portrayed such respect for so many different aspects of life. I also have such compassion for his Mom. Mr. Ghomeshi Snr. had just died before this story broke.

      And I’m sending lots of golden healing energy to you! May that fog dissipate for you soon.

      • A very moving post. I too am struggling to understand how this could have happened to the person I looked forward to listening to every week night for the past seven years. I, too, miss his compassion, wisdom, and sensitivity and feel torn apart to think of what he has been accused of and of what he and his family must be going through right now whether he is innocent or guilty. My fear is that the legal process may preclude true healing and recovery and I hope and pray (in my agnostic way!) that this may not be the case. I pray for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference, and I pray for that for him also. Thank you so much for making me feel less alone and crazy. It helps to know that at least one other person feels as I do – that he was (and is) my “brother”. There is something so personal and intimate about radio. He has touched a lot of people. I hope and pray that he may come back from this stronger, wiser, and more compassionate, and that if he is guilty of violence towards women, that he may find the healing for this that he needs. I was reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolfe (whom he interviewed on his show) when the story broke and it helped me find a way to think about it. She said that people can become addicted to violence and can lose sight of the importance of mutuality in relationship. I pray that he may find healing for whatever may have predisposed him to this, and that the legal process does not preclude true healing and recovery.

        • Elizabeth, as I read your comment, a warmth passed through my chest – my physical reaction to a sincere expression of love. I’ve wondered…do I feel the same as a mother would if I had a child, say, had even murdered another human being? While she would know the seriousness and devastating effects of the crime, a mother knows what that soul is capable of being. Thanks for taking the time to comment and…I know we are not alone, Elizabeth. Others have let me know – feeling that say so would take away from their compassion for the women. No, it does not. Not at all. Not even a smidgeon.

          • Thank you so much, souldipper. The way I found your comments was that something made me google “I miss jian ghomeshi”, and there you were, a breath of fresh air. compassion, and hope in the midst of the darkness of what is happening. I agree with the former CBC employee who called it”a national tragedy” but finding your website and knowing there are people like you out there reaching out to confused, hurting people is the silver lining in this dark cloud. I put my tree up tonight and I love it. I pray that Jian finds your website and knows that there are people who pray for the best for him no matter what the truth is. I am so grateful you felt that connection when you read what I wrote because I felt it, too, and I know I will read and reread your words and the words of others on this page who have responded to you many times before I am able to fully take in the meaning of your words. Thank you again for being who you are and for caring.

  4. I am so relieved to have you write all the things I have been feeling. I have been sorely saddened and disappointed by all of this. He was truly at the top of his game, he was a star, in public, and it is devastating to know that in private he was so much less, and that he thought it was okay. I feel for the women, too, who will now be re-victimized by having to defend their credibility. I felt the same as you, watching the news yesterday. How the mighty has fallen and, along with it, comes my own disillusionment. It makes me sad. And now women are coming forward in the very halls of Legislature, who are having the same issues of harassment, intimidation, unwanted sexual advances and abuse. Sigh. The ugly topic is being revealed, and it shows we have not come as far as we liked to think we have. Thanks for addressing this. It has been bothering me and I have not written about it. Some times it is hard to find the words but you did it so well.

    • Dear Sherry – thank you. Grief pushed me toward my keyboard and it had to accept my heart. Yes, you nailed it: “we have not come as far as we liked to think we have.” Exactly. This situation is going to have impact on even more than the people immediately involved and hurt. My compassion overflows.

  5. I don’t know Jian. He looks absolutely adorable in the photo. The story is so parallel to one that surfaced recently in the American entertainment industry–that of the beloved father of comedy, Bill Cosby. I liked Bill. He, also, had a kind, trustworthy face and a self-effacing stage presence. He symbolized the epitome of strong character and graceful humility. How shocked we were to learn of the women he had apparently mislead, coerced, and seduced many years ago. Like you with Jian, at first, I confess to wondering about the allegations. Were a couple of women just mad at Cosby and thinking they could con a late-in-life celebrity out of their stories? Why do we always wonder? I guess because we don’t want anyone to be unjustly accused. But where is the justice in the abuse? Enough women have stepped forward now that I can’t deny there’s serious reason for concern. Oh how sad. If men could just keep their dicks under cover and in control.

    • Yes, Bill Cosby’s behaviour comes as another jolt, Linda. I remember when his TV show first started. My mom asked me, “What makes this program so special for you?” I suspect she asked because the life they depicted was far removed from my lifestyle.

      My response, “Because it’s refreshing to see an example of a family that seems functional – one with typical problems and personality glitches. I think it’s setting an example we can strive to emulate.”

      Again, I held him in high esteem. As I write this, the word “betrayal” comes to mind. Have we been betrayed?

      I refuse to live and think as a victim, but does this mean I cannot revere people who seem full of integrity?

  6. Unfortunately we all tend to disappoint others at some point in our lives, it is the degree of disappointment that is different. I think it is how we react to that disappointment and move forward hopefully that will make the difference in us.

    • It’s true, Dee, and a mentor once told me he would drop me if I showed evidence of putting him on a pedestal. That baffled me then, but not after nearly three more decades of pedestal observation. Another difference between then and now – and this has been a great challenge – is to allow myself the period of feeling my truth – my true feelings. I trust myself to know when it’s time to pick up the tools that work best for me. It is that precarious point where the choice is tools or self-pity. I’ve never found the latter attractive or fulfilling.

  7. I do not know who this man is, but he is physically beautiful. How sad that he used this for NO good.

    This makes me think of Bill Cosby. If this is true, the world is surely going strait to hell.


    • It’s sad, Kim. In spite of there being no convictions to date, we’re all tarnished. All of us have already been affected – even though these cases are at the allegation stage. Life will never be the same for any of us.

      I’m glad more and more of this unacceptable behaviour is being exposed. We have a few more reports now from Parliament Hill. Plus, I just heard about 20/20 doing a program on how the anonymity of AA is questioned and that its Central Office being sued. It’s the ruddy courts, treatment centers, alcohol & drug counsellors who send people to AA for “fixing” – including sex offenders, murderers, etc. AA doesn’t ask or know who is a sexual predator or a supreme court judge for goodness sake. Suing AA is not the answer.

      Sexuality is a powerful force – whether it’s being flaunted or pursued, it can be done abusively. (That will probably get me into trouble, but both sexes have to be responsible.) The whole world could use an overhaul on keeping sex beautiful, respectful and loving.

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