Public urged to listen more, talk less at funeral of man killed by police


Members of the public were on Monday cautioned to avoid giving unwanted and unnecessary advice to people who may be trying to cope with the loss of a loved one as this may do more harm than good for the relatives.

The call came from Pastor Victor Bowen during his sermon at the funeral of Noel Diamond, at Janel’s Funeral Home, San Juan, on Monday.

Diamond, 47, was one of three men who were shot and killed by police on Juman Drive, Morvant, on June 27.

Bowen said, during such emotional times it was important for friends and relatives to give support to the families in grief and the best way to do so was to listen more and talk less.

GRIEF: Priscilla Brooks, mother of Noel Diamond, hugs his body during the funeral at Janel’s Funeral Chapel in San Juan on Monday. PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB – ROGER JACOB

He said more than advice, silence and compassion was needed from mourners.

“They (relatives) alone know what they are going through. At the end of the day, the families will be left behind. When I say look after them, I mean that if they talk, you listen; if they cry you stand with them; if they walk, you walk with them.

“Don’t play counsellor and adviser if you’re not a psychologist or if you don’t have a law degree because you might say something stupid that may trigger them in the wrong direction. Silence will be the best right now. Your silence will be golden and your speech will be silver.”

Bowen also called on the public to engage in deeper introspection and improve themselves before offering advice to others.

Recalling his own time coping with grief after the loss of his wife, Bowen said people cope with grief differently.

He also urged those in authority to be wary of abusing the power they wield and instead use their influence to help others.

“If you use authority you may never gain the respect of many because you will force your way and bully people to do what you want. But if you use influence, you help people and you hold this position of power and everyone will fall into place.”

During his tribute, Diamond’s cousin Gregory Charles called on mourners to spread love and positivity with those around them as they would be judged by their deeds.

“It matters not how much property, cash or cars we own.

“We need to be less quick to anger and show more love and appreciation. We need to love the people in our lives as we have never loved before. We need to treat each other with respect.”


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