I have watched as I have seen people lay flowers with their children, pose beside portraits of the Queen and sign books of condolences.
People have come from the different groups that make up my corner of England, ethnically and religiously.
The Queen's death has provided people with a vehicle to get on board that says somehow we are connected. Of course, not everyone is a believer and there are those who may have felt like a minority as they observed the activities of the last week. There does seem to be a psychological force at play that does not want to interrupt the mourning with questions about the monarchy.
Many saw her as a constant while they watched Prime Ministers come and go. Many speak of her as the nation's grandmother, others as an elementary Christian. One person commented that the Queen was a reflection of many people’s lives. That made me consider again what I have been feeling, that the connection some feel to the Queen is religious. I can identify for as I have observed and listened it reminds me of how my life is reflected in a belief in God with which I have a personal relationship.
I was reminded that each Good Friday I spend 3 hours in the Cathedral mourning the death of Jesus as if his death had just occurred. It could be said that I didn’t know Jesus personally which is true at least not when he was alive. Yet somehow through the power of psychology, I feel I know him personally, why I have conversations with him most days.
I experience this most powerfully at Easter when I contemplate his life and his death for me. Something about the love expressed in that act has seeped into me and I emotionally respond. The combination of love and death reflected in my own life is powerful enough to have me crying and kneeling before an icon in the altar. And yes I know the icon is but an icon but somehow in the mix of those emotions that culminate on Good Friday it becomes a window by which I see into another world and see the one they call Jesus.
Perhaps what I am witnessing in this last week is people’s need to see into another world and see the one who was called ‘The Queen’.
Last week’s reflection