Podcast: Talking All Things About After-Death Grief

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The Inner Majesty of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

The News of Her Passing

Many are currently worried and struggling to figure out how to survive financially, so the impact of the news that Queen Elizabeth II has died may not have sunk in fully yet.  After all, grief from the loss of someone significant in our lives is a process that takes a long time to unfold within us (and collectively).

Most of us will not have known Queen Elizabeth II personally, so in that sense, her death cannot be considered a close death to us; but it is a significant death, nonetheless, because she was a much-loved public figure who ‘held us’ through many political and cultural difficulties particularly within Britain but abroad as well, by virtue of her longevity and also because she valued stability and peace.

So, at a time of current massive change where people need to be held collectively, many people will be devastated to hear of the news of her death.

There may be some in Britain who are not fans of the institution of the monarchy for various reasons, but one cannot deny the gracious personhood of Queen Elizabeth II, and her steadfast sense of duty to serve with a gracious smile.

Intimate Grief

Such a great loss of a public figure, whom we felt close to when we saw her speaking with heartfelt authenticity during her Christmas Day messages. Such a great loss to this world because it is hard to find public figures these days with such integrity and character to serve so selflessly.

For those who watched, seeing her on television and her messages which sometimes talked of her role as mother and grandmother bred in us a sense of familiarity and closeness. After all, she was a mother, a grandmother and great grandmother as well as the monarch of Britain.

A Role Model for Us

So, is it no wonder that some may feel the loss profoundly.  We don’t often see a female public figure talking about all the roles she fulfilled in her Christmas messages with such love and care.

Many women will be able to resonate with her duty of care and service to others.  She was a role model for many women indeed!  Her death may re-ignite some unprocessed or unresolved grief of your own mother or grandmother who, if you were fortunate enough, may have been a model of selfless care for you.

And so, this profound loss of such a spiritually mature sovereign woman deepens because she wasn’t just a political figurehead, but a model of a dedicated, selfless woman – as well one of the few Christian women in public life who talked openly about her faith.

For those who watched, seeing her on television and her messages which sometimes talked of her role as mother and grandmother bred in us a sense of familiarity and closeness. After all, she was a mother, a grandmother and great grandmother as well as the monarch of Britain.

God Save The Queen

As I laid down to sleep, I started reflecting on all the loss and changes her death will bring and a song popped into my head. (As a trained singer, music has always been a significant part of my life since childhood.)

When I present or teach, I often use analogies, including musical analogies (songs) which easily pop into my head to help people make connections and deepen their understanding.

What hit me as I lay down to sleep was the realisation that I would never sing the British National Anthem – God Save the Queen – in public again. I have memories of singing it every day as a child in Primary (Elementary) School in Canada when I lived there. And we were told off by the teacher if we didn’t stand upright to attention when we sang it!

As I reviewed the lyrics in my head, I was struck by how authentic and true the words were of her character.

Although there are 6 verses, some are outdated rhetoric and I have not included them here. I have included the most appropriate verses below with my comments in the second column.

As I laid down to sleep, I started reflecting on all the loss and changes her death will bring and a song popped into my head. (As a trained singer, music has always been a significant part of my life since childhood.)

When I present or teach, I often use analogies, including musical analogies (songs) which easily pop into my head to help people make connections and deepen their understanding.

What hit me as I lay down to sleep was the realisation that I would never sing the British National Anthem – God Save the Queen – in public again. I have memories of singing it every day as a child in Primary (Elementary) School in Canada when I lived there. And we were told off by the teacher if we didn’t stand upright to attention when we sang it!

As I reviewed the lyrics in my head, I was struck by how authentic and true the words were of her character.

Although there are 6 verses, some are outdated rhetoric and I have not included them here. I have included the most appropriate verses below with my comments in the second column.

1st Stanza

God save our gracious QueenShe certainly was gracious on camera (and I would imagine at home as well!)
Long live our noble QueenShe was blessed to live a long life and did so in a noble and dignified way.
God save the Queen 
Send her victorious 
Happy and gloriousPeople used to say that her smile lit up a room.
Long to reign over usShe certainly did.
God save the Queen 

3rd Stanza

Thy choicest gifts in store

She held many of the gifts of The Spirit as described in the Bible.

The seven gifts above, referring to the characteristics of a public figure, are found in the Book of Isaiah 11:1-2, titled as the Peaceful Kingdom. Note: the phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ means respect and awe.

The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.”

On her be pleased to pourAnd God did in abundance!
Long may she reign

And she did.

She has been Britain and the Commonwealth’s longest reigning monarch to date – 70 years of service.

May she defend our lawsShe diligently opened parliament and upheld the programme of laws to be introduced by each successive government.
And ever give us cause 
To sing with heart and voiceTears are starting to well up.
God save the Queen 

4th Stanza

Not in this land alone 
But be God’s mercies known 
From shore to shore 
Lord make the nations see 
That men should brothers beThe way a mother stops children from arguing!
And form one family 
The wide world overShe championed the continuation of the Commonwealth as a family of nations and modelled respect for all cultures when she greeted people.

5th Stanza

From every latent foe 
From the assassin’s blowThankfully God protected her.
God save the Queen 
O’er her thine arm extend 
For Britain’s sake defend 
Our mother, prince, and friend 
God save the QueenShe did a fine job keeping the nation calm and peaceful during her reign (no small feat when you think of previous kings’ behaviours historically calling for wars!)

For those who believe in the afterlife, the title God Save the Queen now takes on a different, deeper meaning from that which the anthem intended.  With her death, it now takes on the meaning of ‘salvation’.

As an intentional, practising Christian, I have no doubt that God has preserved and saved her throughout her life on earth and will continue to do so in the after-life.

As someone who has conducted many funerals, there is a phrase I have liked to use at the end of funeral services and I would like to conclude this article with that phrase:

May she rest in peace and rise in glory!

About Santou Eve

With 25 years’ field experience as a counsellor / therapist, spiritual leader, hospital chaplain, and a specialist young people practitioner, Santou helps those grieving loss from relationship challenges, health diagnoses and dying, and bereavement transitions.

Santou has lived internationally across many cultures. Personal circumstances and themes of major losses (such as surviving Genocide, being a child war refugee, loss from cancer, etc.) created the conditions for her to process and train to help people with trauma and grief.

Her vision to create a radical movement about how to face loss and grief has fueled her work supporting families, groups, and individuals (aged 13+) around the world.

Through her unique combination of professional training, spiritual practices (within and outside of organised religion) as well as personal experience of multiple types of losses, Santou has developed a unique, therapeutic-spiritual method called the S.T.E.E.R.™ approach, to help people through in-life, dying, and bereavement transitions.

Santou is holding space for you and would love to see you thrive. She offers a free 30-minute clarity call to start helping you move out of your suffering in a gently accelerated way. Click here to schedule your free call today, and you can download a free helpful resource called “You Don’t Have to Say Goodbye” while you’re there.