Queen’s funeral: ‘pain of grief is perhaps the price we pay for love’ – column

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“Aye, she had good innings”.It’s the morning after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth had passed away and its the topic de jour in my local Kirkcaldy High Street cafe.

Folk are shocked, others teary, and some ambivalent.

The night before I watched the news and phoned my Gran, who’s seen every documentary and film about the royal family, just to hear her voice.

In the last week, we’ve seen thousands queue for hours, and, in some cases overnight, leaving many overwhelmed and emotional.

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Flowers left at Kirkcaldy War Memorial for The QueenFlowers left at Kirkcaldy War Memorial for The Queen
Flowers left at Kirkcaldy War Memorial for The Queen

I wondered why I felt sadness for someone who I hadn’t met or had a connection with.

Then I remembered the continuity of the Queen and her profile that’s marked our stamps and coinage for 70 years.

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This omnipresence encompassed her words of comfort during the covid-19 pandemic, and a keen sense of humour as she took tea with Paddington Bear at the Jubilee and being escorted by 007 to the Olympics.

In this form we have seen the Queen everyday of our lives.

I do wonder if what we’re witnessing is something that’s impacted on all of us at some point in our lives.

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In the last week, I can’t help remembering my own grandmother.

Evelyn Young passed away eight years ago and I miss her, along with my kind and gentle Grandad. She was fierce, protective and adored her family.

Nana believed in traditions including adding a cut up apple to orange squash and watching the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day.

After the passing of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth said, “the pain of grief is perhaps the price we pay for love.”

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Smiling at the memories I have of those who have gone before me I know this. I feel this.

The Queen represented a bygone era of tradition. This week, my own memory rituals included coconut cake and episodes of The Golden Girls and it gave me comfort. For loss, I’ve found, is a tide of emotion which may rest but never leaves.

Elizabeth came across as a sincere 96 year old mum and granny whose lassie accompanied her home to be reunited in rest with her hubby.

And I’m thankful for the remembrance of my own Nana. Memories filled with tradition and love.

Aye, she had good innings.

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