I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the last seven days. I’ve read a lot about what would happen when the Queen died. I’ve watched interviews with people predicting the impact this would have upon our nation, upon the world. But experiencing it has been something else entirely.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully expected my grief. It didn’t surprise me that I burst to tears and that my heart would pull at random things in the days to come. I loved the Queen and I knew I would be heart broken when she died. I knew this would feel like personal grief, and it does.
But here are some of the things I didn’t expect.
I didn’t expect that the doorbell would ring within 2 minutes of the announcement, somebody wanting to deal with the flag in church. I didn’t expect that this would make me even more sad, because I just wanted a few more moments with my husband and baby to absorb the news.
I didn’t expect that when Nathan put his cassock on to go to church ten minutes later, a little girl would be stood at his feet squealing with delight at the many buttons on the front of Daddy’s ‘black dress’.
I didn’t expect to be so blown away by the speech first address given by our new King. It was excellent.
I didn’t expect that my London Bridge sermon would be such a joy to write.
I didn’t expect to be so disappointed that we couldn’t manage to open church on Friday morning.
I didn’t expect to take Sophia for her one year jabs the next day, two in each leg.
I didn’t expect to be leading a service on Sunday that contained a baptism as well as prayers during a time of national mourning.
I didn’t expect that The Royal Family would have quite so much to do. To experience so much grief when the eyes of the world are on them seems cruel.
I didn’t expect that people would much prefer to tie a ribbon onto the railings outside church than come in and light a candle.
I didn’t expect that I’d find it hard to concentrate on reading.
I didn’t expect to do quite so much comfort eating.
I didn’t expect to be in bed right now and not be joining #TheQueue with my Mum and sister. I always knew that I would want to go and see the Queen lying in state. But it’s not practical this week and at the moment we are a bit fragile and need to be together as a three.
I hope that times like these remind us that life is precious. Spend time with the people you love, and tell them that you do.