Yesterday was one of those days where I will always remember where I was and what I was doing.
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I was running into Home Goods when Angela called to inform me that Queen Elizabeth had died. My mundane errand stood in stark contrast to events unfolding across the pond.
Like the rest of the world, I was shocked. It wasn’t realistic, but didn’t it seem like the Queen would live forever? Over her 70 year reign, she emerged as a pop culture figure and a global force. Surely the gravitas of her demeanor, her ever-curious, somewhat mischievous smile, her steady presence throughout a massive chunk of history would confer immortality.
But it could not be so. And this morning, the world feels a different place.
The images coming out of England are surreal. This is a country that cherishes pomp and circumstance, ceremony and formality. All of these events are being viewed by billions of people. And why do we watch? Because we can all relate to the loss of a beloved family member and the aching need to seek meaning in tragedy. The state funeral will be an opportunity for the world to mourn together in a particularly English way.
There were heavy rains yesterday and a rainbow appeared over Windsor Castle.
(Chris Jackson//Getty Images)
In London, a double rainbow appeared over Buckingham Palace and other monuments.
(Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
It was as if the heavens laid down a brilliant highway to guide this new soul into eternity.
Her life was astounding. But she is like the rest of us in the most fundamental way: a mortal being created by God for a special purpose. And what a grand purpose was entrusted into her capable hands. She knew that purpose and lived a life devoted to it. A quote from the Be Love Revolution blog comes to mind: “We long to live in structured ways, for routine is often the marker of discipline, and disciplined is the life of the saints.”
Queen Elizabeth lived a structured, disciplined life. Everything from her brightly colored outfits, to her daily reading of the red box, to her routine breakfast of Special K cereal and Earl Grey tea. Outside of her formal role, she seemed to relish her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. At her core she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother. And that made her relatable, despite the tiaras, horse-drawn carriages, and castles.
Her daily devotion to God, country, and family left an incredible legacy and example for the world. I, like so many others, feel the loss of this beloved figure who was somehow a grandmother to us all.
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God save the Queen.