We’ve all got our own memories of the Queen, whether that’s waving at her on the palace balcony or celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.
But very few of us were lucky enough to have met her or known her personally – and yet, the grief we feel at her passing can feel as raw and upsetting as if we did.
‘The individual relationship you have with the Queen is no less important or strong, just because you didn’t actually know her,’ explains psychologist, Emma Kenny. ‘It’s important to take time to acknowledge these feelings.’
But how is best to cope with grieving someone you don’t know? And how do we process these emotions?
Acknowledge the relationship
Emma tells Metro.co.uk: ‘You may never have met her, but you still have a connection to the Queen.
‘She represented stability and consistency – for almost everyone in the country, she was the only monarch we’ve ever known. Because of this, she underpinned our security.
Queen Elizabeth II dead: What happens next?
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after 70 years on the throne, with her death announced by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022.
She died at the age of 96 at her home in Balmoral, with her son, the now King Charles, and daughter Princess Anne by her side.
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‘Without her, our shared belief system has been shaken and that can feel very unsettling. Don’t shy away from the fact that – despite not knowing her – you have a bond with the Queen.’
Recognise that the Queen’s death may be triggering
When you go through any type of grief, it can trigger other, separate feelings of grief.
Emma says: ‘The Queen’s passing might remind you of other people you adored that are no longer with us. It’s important to accept that these doors might open for you and try not to run away from this.
‘Grief is just love in disguise. If you find that you’re thinking more about lost loved ones lately, talk about those people, look at pictures and share memories. It will help you process how you’re feeling now.’
Don’t be embarrassed
You may not have thought that the Queen’s death would affect you so deeply – but this is perfectly normal.
Emma tells us: ‘There will be people who are surprised by the power of their grief – and equally, there will be people who can’t understand why you might feel so emotional at the passing of a woman you never met.
‘But it’s not your job to explain your emotions. Grief is unique and we each experience it differently.
‘You don’t have to be stoic or defend yourself. You’re allowed to feel how you feel. If you need to have a duvet day in bed, then so be it.’
Reach out to your local community
‘Grief is a massive connector,’ explains Emma. ‘It brings people together in their shared emotions.
‘I’d advise reaching out to groups in your local area – perhaps you could raise funds for one of the many charities that the Queen was patron of, or you might find it helpful to watch her funeral together and celebrate her life.
‘In the same way that you might do for a close relative, you could also create memory boxes, including photos or souvenirs that remind you of the Queen.’
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