Queen Elizabeth II – Grief for a loved one
Whether we are royalists, republicans or something in between, Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant presence in our lives.
Since 1952, The Queen’s Christmas Message has given us comfort and a shared sense of togetherness. Through the good years and the difficult ones too.
As a symbol of identity for the nation and the commonwealth, the Queen has given millions a sense of pride and self-esteem.
She was a source of courage and dignity when people faced personal challenges and self-doubts.
This is true for those who work tirelessly in the services which preserve the nation’s health and security, and for all of us who depend upon those services.
How do we cope when we lose someone central to the life of the nation?
There is no easy answer to this question.
Some of us will need time to mourn.
And then we might look to the memory of how they lived their lives.
What lessons can we learn from Queen Elizabeth’s leadership?
How might these lessons help us through a time of grief and loss?
We might consider the astonishing patience and resolve she has demonstrated in her role as Queen for seventy years.
Or, we could learn from the dignity she has shown, particularly when her family has not been allowed the privacy all of us need.
We might celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s life with others too, keeping the sense of comfort, pride, and togetherness she gave others alive.
With friends or our loved ones, we might share memories of her over a cup of tea, perhaps the Queen’s favourite Earl Grey or Assam, without milk or sugar of course, and with sandwiches or tea cakes.
But perhaps the most important lesson is that a meaningful life is led through service to others.
As a patron of hospitals, charities and the arts, Queen Elizabeth ensured that the work of these organisations is publicly recognised and properly supported.
We can keep her spirit of service alive through supporting these organisations. This might be through volunteering ourselves, or donating, or something as simple as sharing what we have learnt about their work with others.
Through learning from her example, of patience, dignity and service to others, we can continue to find inspiration, guidance and meaning, to cope during good times, and difficult ones too.