Neale Hanvey: the end of an era heralds new beginnings

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Last week in response to the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had died I recognised that her passing was an event of global significance.

And this was apparent on Monday with mourners travelling from across the globe to pay their last respects.

Across the constituency the Queen’s passing will have been received differently from home to home. Whatever your personal response to the news was, for me this was a moment of loss, and a time for compassion to her family.

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For most of my life losing a parent always seemed an unthinkable challenge.

Flowers for the Queen left at Balmoral (Pic: PA/ Andrew Milligan)Flowers for the Queen left at Balmoral (Pic: PA/ Andrew Milligan)
Flowers for the Queen left at Balmoral (Pic: PA/ Andrew Milligan)

It was something I tried to prepare myself for, but I had no idea how I would deal with the loss. Throughout my career in cancer care I have supported mums, dads, brothers, sisters, and my patients to navigate and cope with death and dying.

So, when the inevitable happened, first with the loss of my mum and a few years later with my dad, the experience was not at all what I had anticipated.

Naturally it was a time of deep emotion. The gap they left in my world was, and still is, deeply felt.

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Despite that sense of loss, what I didn’t expect was my ability to find solace in happy memories of lives well lived.

The ups and the downs provide me with a rich tapestry that is both comforting and often uplifting when I recall past events or reminisce with family and friends.

Loss and grief are emotions we all must face, and not just when loved ones pass away. Loss of employment, changes in health, or the breakdown of a relationship can cast a shadow over our lives and render us disorientated as we grapple to get back on an even keel, and thankfully that’s something most of us do.

While the royal family’s loss has received extensive coverage on TV, life and its challenges have carried on.

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In the coming weeks and months, many people across the constituency will face significant challenges as we all attempt to deal with the escalating cost of living and its grinding impact on our lives.

The passing of Queen Elizabeth marks the end of an era, and endings are always a time of uncertainty. But they also herald new beginnings, and opportunity if we’ve the courage to look for them.

Now’s the time to reflect on what’s past, and consider what future we wish to create.

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