Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

Posted on Sunday, 11th September 2022

On the 8th September 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died. She was 96 years old. The news broke late afternoon and it felt like the ripple of conversation and grief could be felt round the country. The news will have affected people in different ways, and to different extents. This will depend on many things. For example I saw a recent poll which showed that a lot more 65+ year olds said they had cried over the news than 18-25 years olds had, which is probably not surprising in many ways.

I have been thinking a lot about the public’s reaction to the Queen’s death and the fact that the feelings being conjured up can be quite complex. The following are reasons as to why feelings about the Queen’s death can feel so complex;

The loss of a constant figure

She was a constant in what can sometimes feel like a scary and unpredictable world. She died the same week she met our new Prime MInister. While the world was experiencing unprecedented times with the pandemic, the Queen was still our monarch, a strangely comforting presence. She has been our Queen for so many people’s whole lives. Generally, we can find change quite hard, and this may feel like a significant change.

Our own personal grief

When someone in the public eye dies, sometimes we can be surprised with how much it affects us. Often what is happening is it is tapping into a personal grief of ours. It could be a recent bereavement, or a long time ago. A moment like this can remind us of our own losses and bring up a lot of emotion.

Feelings about the Monarchy

Our feelings may not all be positive and that can feel confusing when someone has died. We may disagree with the British Monarchy for financial or historical reasons. Some people might be confused or even repulsed by this outpouring of love and emotion for someone who represents an institution they feel strongly against. Feeling like the country you live in or come from are all collectively feeling a different way to you could feel quite isolating.

Empathy for others

If you are someone with high empathy, this might feel particularly difficult and even draining. Knowing how much the Queen meant to so many members of the public, not to mention then seeing members of her family speak and grieving publicly. At times like this the news to an empath can get a bit overwhelming.

If you feel you could benefit from talking to a counsellor about how you’re feeling, please do get in touch.

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