A remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II: ‘Like millions around the world, I cried when …’

Millions around the world saw Queen Elizabeth’s face every day on the walls of schools and other civic buildings, on currency and postage stamps, especially among the 56 countries that are part of the modern Commonwealth of Nations.

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‘I cried when …’

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By LUCILLE SIDER
Author of Light Shines in the Darkness

Like millions of others around the world, I cried when I heard the news that Queen Elizabeth died.  It was instant.  And it quite surprised me.

My mind then travelled back to Canada, where every day in school we sang, “God Save The Queen.” My mind then flipped to a slight anger at God, for God did not save the Queen—she is dead! Then came the realization that she was 96 years old. But the tears kept coming.

My mind flashed to a recent conversation with my son about my citizenship. I am still a Canadian although I have lived in the US for 57 years. I am a Permanent Resident in the US and as such I renew that status every ten years. The cost is approximately $300. But I sharply replied to my son that I will not become a US citizen. I am and will remain a Canadian. That is settled.

I vividly remember myself as a child standing at attention in various classrooms as we solemnly sang, “God Save The Queen.” We faced a large picture of her at the front of the classroom and in some way we loved her. Her smile was so warm. It filled us with love every single morning at school.

All of us girls were in love with Prince Charles and we dreamed of marrying him. We later thought he was quite mean to Princess Diana so were not sure that we would marry him even if he asked!

When Trump became president it was quite a relief to know that I could return to Canada at any time. There was considerable joking that I could marry my good friend Frank and enable him to escape the US, too.

Now, writing this remembrance a day after the Queen’s death, I wonder why I cried and why I have a certain sadness and fear in my heart. It seems that the world is just not safe if the Queen is not here protecting us.

I watch on TV the throngs of people in England gathering to bring flowers to the royal family.  I watch King Charles and Camilla going among the crowd of people shaking hands.  One person kissed Charles’ hand and another kissed his cheek. If I were to travel to England, I would just shake his hand.

I love watching the pictures of the Queen over the years. Her marriage to Prince Philip. At first he seemed a bit abrupt but then we saw his warmth and his care for the Queen.

I love seeing images of the coronation when she was just in her twenties. Her travels across the empire.

As I sit down to write on this day after the Queen’s death, my tears are mainly gone.

My sadness has turned into gratitude. Gratitude for her long life. Gratitude for the deep wisdom she bestowed on the whole world. Gratitude, that, as a Canadian, I hold her in my heart in a precious way.

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Care to Read More?

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Lucille Sider inspires readers nationwide with Light Shines in the Darkness, her memoir about spiritual resilience in the aftermath of life-shattering trauma. She also is publishing a series of columns about the many ways men and women find themselves confronting trauma every day.

Here are some of her earlier columns:

 

 

 

 

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