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When I was thinking about writing this blog originally, I was going to write about something else but now it only seems appropriate to acknowledge the great loss that we have suffered here in the UK and in the world for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
I am sure, like me, you were quite shocked at how quickly she seemed to pass away from it being announced that she was ill but comfortable, at Balmoral, to the dreaded news a few hours later.
I have shed many tears since then, maybe you have too.
It’s interesting how we grieve the passing of someone we don’t know. I know I have felt grief for other people in the spotlight too.
Somehow, this feels very different. We did know her- or at least her public side and she very much felt like part of the family. Maybe the wider collective family.
For me, I was brought up with the tradition of listening to the Queen’s speech on Christmas day and standing for the National Anthem. I have watched most of the Royal occasions since I was young and enjoyed doing so.
It always seemed like a different world, and of course it is compared to mine and probably yours.
I was lucky enough to go to a garden party in 2018 at Buckingham Palace with my friend. My friend was being honoured for her services to education and I was her plus one. A surreal experience, but one I will never forget. We saw Her Majesty and I felt part of her life, just for a moment.
However, it’s in her service and duty and for being an incredible woman that I will miss her.
For seven decades, she followed her path with unswerving dedication. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been at times especially through all the changes we have seen.
Her Majesty had her beloved Philip by her side for most of that time, and their love for each other was something else that I admired.
The love she had for her family, as a wife, mother, grandma and great grandma were evident to see.
As the Monarchy started to become more open, I believe we got to see more of the very real side of her, the one who loved with us, who cried with us and the one who seemed to make everything feel better.
In 2001, after the horrors of 9/11, the Queen said, “grief is the price we pay for love”. Indeed, it is. I wrote about my journey with grief in this blog in 2017.
I believe we are grieving her because of everything she gave us, and because she was like a mother or a grandmother to us as well.
It also reminds us of loved ones we have lost, and this is why we can stand with her family and know how it feels.
Her Majesty called her beloved Philip her “strength and stay”. I believe that the Queen was ours.
So, if you are feeling sad and are grieving then know that you are not alone. Allow yourself the time and space to do so.
Talk to friends and family and, if necessary, someone professional like a counsellor.
Locking away your grief, only means you will be impacted by it later.
Her Majesty had great faith in God and the afterlife, and I am sure she will be with him now and of course, her Philip.
This of course, brings change and that’s ok. When something comes to an end, something new always follows.
It’s time for King Charles III to take his place as Monarch. He will be grieving too, and we can support him and send love as he navigates his way through his grief and his new responsibilities.
In fact, if grief is the price we pay for love, we can see how much the Queen was loved by many – but especially her family.
Let’s help them by sending our love back to them.
As you rest now, your Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, please feel the love and support we send to you and to your family. Rest easy, knowing that you have done more than your job and watch over your son as he embarks on this next part of his journey too.
Thank you for everything. Rest in eternal peace.