'There's no correct feeling': Psychologist shares tips for grieving the Queen

Whether you’re surprised by how sad you are, don’t feel much at all, or are mourning your own personal loss, there’s no wrong way to respond to the death of the Queen.

That’s what psychologist Dr Elizabeth Paddock most wants people to know, telling the nation that their ‘feelings are valid’.

Elizabeth, a psychologist from Nottingham, East Midlands, said: ‘We may not have met the Queen but for many she has been a poignant part of their lives.

‘She’s been there at Christmas and through the pandemic.

‘Many are rightly upset and grieving the loss of their Queen.’

Elizabeth explains that response to grief is unique, but that people often have a loss of appetite, experience headaches or have insomnia.

Some will find that the death of the Queen brings up emotions of a previous loss, and that the public mourning can be triggering.

Queen Elizabeth II dead: What happens next?

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after 70 years on the throne, her death announced by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022.

She died at the age of 96 at her home in Balmoral, with her son, the now King Charles, and daughter Princess Anne by her side.

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Follow Metro.co.uk’s live blog for the latest updates, and sign Metro.co.uk’s book of condolence to Her Majesty here.

Elizabeth says it is important to be patient with yourself during this time.

‘Do what is right for you,’ she said.

‘Seek a support group or family and friends if you need to.

‘There is no correct feeling to have or way to grieve.

‘People will be feeling a whole range of emotions.

‘Setting lists and reminders is important as time passes differently during a period of grief.

‘Above all remember that your grief is valid.’

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Dr Elizabeth’s top tips for dealing with grief

  • Be patient without yourself
  • Set lists and reminders as time can pass strangely during a period of grief
  • Contact support groups or others struggling with grief
  • Speak to family and friends about how you are feeling
  • Contact support groups or others struggling with grief

Another psychologist, Noel McDermott, backs Dr Elizabeth’s thoughts, sharing his own key steps for coping with this difficult moment.

Recognise there’s no right or wrong way to grieve

‘It’s important never to judge oneself as right or wrong in grieving,’ says Noel. ‘Many people will say they don’t have the right to feel loss at the death of say a partners loved one, but loss is felt because we have lost the relationship that was important to us.

‘We have a profound and hugely important capacity to empathise and project emotionally onto people we may never have met, so it’s understandable and very human to feel loss at the death of a national figure.’

Share your emotions

Noel says: ‘The most important aspect of grieving is sharing the experience with others and that’s why funerals are so important.

‘With public figures in general and with this one in particular there will be many opportunities to express your loss at public events.

‘Books of condolence for example will be opened all over the world in all likelihood, there will be national moments of silence and there will be events organised all over the four nations.

‘Attend these and they will help you cope with how you are feeling at this time.’

Find a way to honour the Queen that resonates with you

‘It’s also important to find unique and personal ways to express your loss,’ suggests Noel. ‘Ask yourself, what did this person mean to you? What did they represent? Is there a song, an event, a memory that is cherished by you? Can you remember that and take time to share it in a way that for you honours the person?’

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