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!”
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.