Monday, September 19, 2022

The Death of Queen Elizabeth II

September 8, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II has died.

Like many I viewed a fleeting headline on the way out of the house and was surprised at the feelings I was left with. I was actually surprised that I had feelings. As someone born in the United States, I’m a bit constitutionally uncomfortable with things like monarchy and royalty and kings and queens and princes and princesses … unless we’re talking about fantasy and fairy tales.

But I did have feelings of sadness and interest. I had a trip to the hair salon and asked the young stylist if she’d heard the news. A bit embarrassed. The queen was 96 and the stylist was young, in her 20s likely. Would she care about something like the passing of Queen Elizabeth II? But she'd heard of the queen’s death and she had feelings about it too and she believed her death would have “the butterfly effect”. And when she said that, I thought she was right.

And she told me about the queen meeting Marilyn Monroe.

You can find the pictures on the internet.

It was much later in the day that I was back on my computer and began to scan more of the headlines and video clips on YouTube. I was surprised to learn that Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning monarch in British History, 70 years. 

I was not surprised by that time to learn that there were outpourings of sadness throughout the world.

And so in death, more people will hear about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and her life. More people will become aware of her story. And in a world that seems to care little for elders, there’s something refreshing about seeing people of all ages mourn her death, even if the mourning is only fleeting.

September 19, 2022. The State Funeral.

Her life and the meaning of it will now live on in the ethers and we can all and will make of it what we will. 

“Death”—Hades raised a finger—“the last breath is transformational. Well beyond the cliches—dust to dust, cradle to grave—the physical demise of the individual transforms the living—always a multitude—and that impact is ever unpredictable.

“Consider the death of your own mother.”

Ryder startled.

“The ripple effect of her death, the waves of transformation wrought by the end of her individual life are still lapping at the shores of the Whole, are they not?” Hades walked with his hands behind his back. “Not only has her death deeply affected you, but it affected Shilda and Garrick—if your mother had lived they wouldn’t have had the delight of watching over you all those years. And your father—if your mother hadn’t died when and how she did, he’d still be the head of the Order of the Idonnai. Think of poor Sister Delilah who never delivered another child. And all the citizens of Idonne who may now tramp through the priesthood’s precious library, and all the females who are now free to enter the citadel. It’s almost as though our lives are nothing, as though the moment of death is our true birth, when our true meaning to the Whole is finally exposed.” War & Grace, Heidi Garrett

And did you know?

Born in 1926, the lady was a tiger.

Does this explain the invisible cloak of independence she wore as she moved among the peoples of the world, keeping her own counsel?