Prince Phillip died yesterday. There was lots of news coverage about it. Although it is inevitable, I am always saddened to see life-long partners separated by death. I have admired Queen Elizabeth for as long as I can remember. And when I read about her husband’s death, there was no question in my mind, that I would send a note. I know there is little chance that she will ever read it, but I wanted to do it – needed to do it.
I think as suicide loss survivors we grow in compassion and courage. That is something we don’t talk about much, but I see it in myself and in so many others in our survivor community. Having experienced the heartbreaking pain of losing a loved one, we understand and are not afraid to reach out to others who are experiencing loss. I think that as a community, we also understand how important it is to express our gratitude and let others know they are appreciated.
So here is the note I sent to the Queen:
“I write to let you know that my heart goes out to your entire family on the death of Prince Philip. Though I have never met any member of your family in person, and though I live across the ocean, it is with great admiration and affection that I have read about and watched the activities of your family over the years.
When I was a child, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I was given a beautiful tin with candy. The tin was adorned with photos of the Queen and the Prince, newly married. Back then, I didn’t fully understand that it was a coronation tin – just that it was very special. I have kept that tin all these years and added others like it to a collection.
As I grew older, I came to admire and understand more about the sense of duty your family has towards the public and how deeply challenging it must have been to live in the eye of the public and the media.
We will most likely never meet, but I send my love to your family and especially to Her Majesty, the Queen. She has been a profound inspiration to me and to so many others.
With affection and sympathy for your loss,
Ronnie Susan Walker”
I will let you know if she writes me back! 😊