Queen Elizabeth II – Our Great Lossby Dr Emma Gray - 14th September, 2022
For most of us she has been the Queen for our whole life and as a result and without us knowing it, she will have been one of the most consistent parts of that life. Liz Truss said that she was the ‘rock upon which modern Britain was built’ but maybe this under states who the Queen was for us and what it means now that she has left us. Personal views on the monarchy are a separate issue.
Have you ever used money that didn’t have the Queen on it? Posted a letter without her face in the corner. So familiar is that face you no longer see it when you reach into your wallet or hurriedly stick a stamp on an envelope before sliding it into the post box. However, now things will be different and forever so. Now we have a King and his will be the face that greets us at 3pm on Christmas Day.
We are designed by nature to seek out a familiar environment, for our ancestor this was a survival strategy, it is easier to stay safe when we know what surrounds us. So change, particularly when it is imposed, can be challenging. Change in the form of loss makes the challenge harder as it highlights those things that we try so hard not to think about, our own mortality, the mortality of those that we love, the temporary nature of everything.
So, how do we deal with the death of our Queen? That strong, steady, familiar figure that stood at the head of our country for 70 years and 214 days. This great loss will mean something different to each of us, so we must all find our own way through it but holding on to an awareness that it is death that makes life special can bring enormous comfort. Do not deny the temporary nature of things, instead use your knowledge of this to live a life rooted in the present moment, experiencing,and embracing as much of it as you possibly can.