The Special Value of Collective Grief

Collective Grief

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The special value of collective grief reflects many things, with the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Collective grief is make up of emotional triggers which can be set off by memories, experiences, and events. These can spark intense emotional reaction, regardless of our current mood, and adds to the value of collective grief

Grief is always personal as seen in the grieving mother’s of school shootings. Yet, in that grief, there was evidence of the strength gained from collective grief.

The Special Value of Collective Grief

The outpouring of mass mourning and the special value of collective grief represents what that person meant to your life, even if it wasn’t a personal relationship.

‘Constant is the one word that keeps coming up about Queen Elizabeth’. If we could live as constant as her example was, then the world would be a better place to live in. She is a brilliant example of what women can aspire to, for the Princess Elizabeth entered a man’s world extraordinaire, when she became queen. She was womanomics in living reality, for a full 70 years.

We Never Actually Met the Queen

Although the Queen shook hands with thousands of people, the majority of us never met the queen. Many of us saw her from a distance, but for 70 years she was part of the background fabric of our lives. Her milestones connected to ours and in some ways provided cameos of our most cherished memories.

Watching the coffin leave Balmoral Castle was the reality of the end of her life, but it also reflected our own passage through time. Death is a reality of this life and grief, collective or private, has its own value.

Losing a Loved One and the Value of Collective Grief

The death of a loved one means there is an irreplaceable hole in the fabric of our life. The death of Queen Elizabeth II is like losing someone that was a key to our identity. She was a monarch, a matriarch, and a stabilizing figure for people around the globe, which has led to collective grief. 250,000 people filed past her coffin to pay their respects. That is a testimony to the greatness, love and affection the people had for her.

For us all, it is the close of an era. The world will miss her wonderful smile and brightly coloured clothes. A light of hope has gone out, for the queen represented unity, like no other.

Mourning the queen is a way of saying thank you for a life dedicated to the service of her subjects. The special value of collective grief is a way of having empathy with the Queen’s family who have their own burden of grief, which they must bear publicly.

Pageantry and the Value of Collective Grief

Some may criticise the tradition, pageantry, and ceremony that accompanies the death of a monarch, but it provides connectivity between people, history, and nations. There is healing in the pageantry and we don’t want to miss the next episode of it. The British excel at traditional pageantry, which maintains the link with history, be it good or bad. Even King Charles III name has special connotations with events from history.

Seeing the coffin or listening to a memorial service of a person we identify with can stir up unresolved grief, or memories of personal losses and saying goodbye. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, and respecting other people’s grief should be a natural process of being human, particularly when we share collective grief.

Dedication and Calm

The constancy and dedication to duty by Queen Elizabeth, is a reminder that no matter what we go through, we can come out the other side, a bigger and better person. Her irrefutable calm in the face of numerous storms should remain an encouragement to us all.

It was a delight to see whole families laying flowers in tribute to the monarch. From the very old to the very young, Queen Elizabeth and National Treasure, has touched millions of lives and was multi-generational.

The queen’s sense of humour reminded us that there are many times we take ourselves too seriously. Whoever dreamt up the idea of the Paddington Bear skit on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, deserves a knighthood. It showed the world how human and relatable the queen was to all generations. She was an inspiration for all women.

A granny without a sense of humour is a dull person indeed. It was a mother and grandmother, not just a queen, who spoke to the nation following the death of Princess Diana. It too, was a time of the outpouring of collective grief.

Critics And the Value of Collective Grief

There are those for whom the monarch’s death is a non-event. It is important they do not belittle those who feel the death very strongly. I am glad I could view the events surrounding the death on my own with a box of tissues, without fear of censorship. No one sitting beside me saying, “This is going on way too long! It’s too drawn out!” I could enjoy the pageantry and feel the connectiveness of collective grief. I didn’t have to explain why I enjoyed seeing the little things like her horse and corgies, or watch the two young royals, George and Charlotte say goodby to their Gran-gran.

I have said too many personal goodbyes and the death of the monarch reminds me of my mortality. I was only ten-years old when the queen was crowned. Watching the various traditional ceremonies that took place to mark the passing of a much-loved public figure, gave us a sense of connection with the countless number of people who mourned her passing in collective grief.

A Time For Everything Including Collective Grief

It is a sad day when anti-monarchists use the Queen’s death as an excuse to vent their type of venom. We all make mistakes, and never more so than when you are in a position of authority. The British do not standalone in the negative way they handled things in the past. There is blood on many hands, but you can’t lay it all on the shoulders of one woman. Now is not the time for anti-monarchist sentiment, no matter how strong that feeling is. There is a time and a place for all things, including collective grief.

A Life of Inspiration Adds to the Value of Collective Grief

Collective grief assures us we are not alone, and the life of the queen is an inspiration to women everywhere. When the young queen ascended to the throne, she had a Prime Minister twice her age. A man who thought this young woman did not have the stamina to fill the role. Yet, he soon turned into an admirer.

The queen went to the throne in an era where women had no constructive thoughts of their own, but had to look to the males of society for direction. Males were meant to have the knowledge and wisdom needed to steer women through life’s traumas. Women were only fit to run the home. Queen Elizabeth proved all misogynists wrong, as she ruled with wisdom, dignity and humility, like her namesake before her, Queen Elizabeth I with whom she had much in common.

Some complain about the monarchy, but it plays an important role in showing there is a higher road to walk. Very few can aspire to become the most well-known face in the world, but we all have spheres of influence. Queen Elizabeth showed us how to use our voice to good and that as a woman we can rise above all adversity in a dignified way.

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    Wendy is an Inspirational Freelance Writer specializing in offering encouragement to women in all walks of life.

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