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  • Writer's pictureDawn Ford

Our Queen - A nation in mourning; Time of Change.



On the evening of Thursday 8th September 2022 the world as we knew it suddenly & irrevocably changed. The news that our beloved & most gracious Queen, Queen Elizabeth ll had suddenly died, shocked and saddened millions of people.


And I did feel shocked, despite her amazing age of 96. I felt shocked despite thinking she looked rather frail when I saw a photograph of her meeting with our new prime minister Liz Truss on Tuesday of this week. And I guess this is true of the passing of our own loved ones. Are we ever really prepared for the day their life ends, the day they no longer smile, laugh, blow us a kiss? Can we ever be prepared? Will there always be shock, or if not shock perhaps a sense of numbness - as we have to learn to face a new reality?


Death of course is final, but only in the physical sense; our spirit, our memories and the love continue way beyond. The Queen will live on in her children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. And that can bring enormous comfort.


Over the last few days I have been touched by much of the television coverage. I found King Charles' speech on Friday evening especially moving, because he talked of the Queen, his mother's unfaltering sense of duty & wisdom but he also spoke of his mother, with immense love and touched on her mischievous sense of humour and he did all of this with deep and genuine emotion.


And this is what's hitting me right now - I am hearing people talk openly of sadness, of grief, of loss and that is a good thing, all be it under such extreme circumstances. We cannot continue in the same vein as we have up to now- we must not continue to think of grief as awkward, or of tears as embarrassing, or sadness as failure. We simply cannot. I truly believe this is a huge underlying issue with our current Mental Health crisis.


And this may be the opportunity to bring this change about, as millions grieve the death of our Queen. This may be the opportunity to talk to our children and grandchildren about change, about loss, about grief, about funerals. This is our opportunity to turn the table to stop those often ingrained learnt beliefs, passed down by many generations, who chose to advocate 'burying, dismissing, blocking out or even minimizing' emotions when it comes to loss. It is so incredibly unhealthy to do so.


Here are some recent recollections:

Someone said to me "Don't you cry......"( Or you'll make me cry)

And this was on the morning of a funeral.


I remember hearing many times "Please don't be nice to me Dawn".. ( you'll make me cry)

And this was a short time after they had suffered a close bereavement.


Why are we so afraid of crying?

Why do so many of us try and do all we can to avoid the sadness, that we naturally feel, or we do all we can to avoid shedding tears, that naturally need to flow?


This is our chance; as parents, caregivers, teachers, medical professionals, all of us- to learn the fundamental importance of ‘leaning into’ our emotions. To accept & not reject the natural feeling inside of us. And teach the same to our children in our homes and in classrooms, in our care.


This is collective grief on a huge scale. And this epic loss, which can feel immensely unsettling for some, is also a time of great reflection and perhaps gratitude too as we mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth ll. She was our dutiful, dignified Queen and she was highly regarded across the world .

With her passing comes change and now King Charles lll will pave the way for a different type of reign, and I'm sure he'll do a fine job. He will do things in his own way, he is after all his own person; but the sense of duty, and respect for the Crown and his 'subjects' continues with him too.


Let's take this sad and sombre time, with the historic passing of our beloved Queen, the likes of which we will never see again and be OK

With our feelings,

With our sadness,

With our tears,

With our grief.


It is after all only human.




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