The Queen’s death seems to have come about in a characteristically steadfast way. Almost like she planned a neat and ordered, graceful sign off - one day she was at work, then she tidied up leaving the leather bound instructions manual in an empty in-tray. The imagined image in my head of her husband smiling as he wrapped her into the crook of his arm, can stay a long while.
For anybody who has found a resurgence in feelings of grief (from the long or near past) that they thought they had popped into a little tin marked ‘done’, please do not place expectation on yourself. Grief isn’t a thing, it’s lots of things. And it’s a shape-shifter, it rarely repeats itself but plays hide and seek with us.
For me, I have missed my two grannies very much this week. They were just a year or three older than the Queen and I was lucky to have had them in my life until I was in my forties.
The way to keep grief from winning is, I believe, to keep the fun memories close. I think of my granny saying “auld Queenie is still a fine looking wumman for her age hen, mind you, so would I be if I’d had her diet”. I think of my other granny unexpectedly farting, wearing her nightie as she answered the phone, and causing my brother and I (age 9 and 6) to think our lungs would burst from holding in our laughs. And I think of the Queen larking about on Britannia saying “weeeeeeeeeee” as the boat lurched in a slightly rough sea, in order to help keep guests calm.
Grief wears many coats. Just keep putting them on a peg and not in the wardrobe.
The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.