Black background with an image of a crown and the title of the blog: Self-care when a person who's significant to you or others, dies

Queen Elizabeth II has died. In light of these circumstances, this month’s blog has a different format.

When a death is announced of someone that has presence in our lives, we are affected.  Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.  The Queen’s death, regardless of your beliefs about the monarchy or whether your nationality connects you to her, will inevitably do the same. Feelings arise, subtle or intense.

At such a time, self-care is vital. The invitation here as always is to bring in the two fundamental principles of First Aid for Feelings: curiosity and compassion. The ABC technique of First Aid for Feelings starts with A for awareness.  Before we can be aware of what we are feeling, we can’t do anything about it.

Getting curious and becoming aware of what you’re feeling as you and we all come through this period is key to you finding the way forward that’s most helpful to you. The ABC technique First Aid for Feelings (awareness – breath and body – choice) is designed to help you do exactly that.

You may find that the Queen’s death amplifies or triggers other experiences of grief that you’ve experienced in the past or are going on for you now.

You may find that the Queen’s death feels like a personal loss to you and in a way it is.  She’s been a constant presence in our lives for a long time.

You may find that the Queen’s death and the feelings expressed by those around you or in the media trigger anger or resentment in you and you feel riled up.

You may find that the Queens death and official mourning affects your plans or livelihood in a way that’s challenging and that you feel guilt or shame for feeling frustrated about that.

You may find that the Queen’s death affects you in ways you didn’t expect and you’re taken aback by the feelings you are experiencing.

Whatever your experience now is, it’s likely to be shared by more people than you’d expect. Feelings are always information and that includes your feelings now.

As much as you’re able to, be kind to yourself and compassionate. Tend to your self-care. This means listening in to your self-talk, using your ABC First Aid for Feelings. Check whether your self-talk is helpful and what might be more helpful? It means giving yourself time to care for your experience and defer tasks and activities where possible. Give yourself permission to reach out to friends, family or professionals and other services as feels helpful to you.

Pace how much you engage with social media and broadcast coverage relating to the Queen’s death.  It may be helpful for a while and like most things, if you do it for too long it’s likely to become unhelpful.

Connecting with others and talking about how they are reading and responding to their feelings helps.  Processing your experience through writing something down or other activity that’s meaningful to you can be more helpful than you’d expect.

I am sharing here a blog I wrote when my dearest friend Jen died in 2020.  Jen was an advisor to The Helpful Clinic and instrumental in making First Aid for Feelings accessible to more people. Writing the blog to honour Jen and respond to my grief at her passing was one of the ways that helped me. I hope reading it may feel helpful to you. Click here to read my blog about the experience of Jen’s death for me.


The Helpful Clinic will be open as usual during this period of official mourning. If you are or have been in consultations remember the email support you can access as part of your care with us and get in touch.

For now, I wish you care and comfort as you respond to your experience in the way that feels most helpful to you.

May you be able to tend to your self-care.

Condolences to all those who are affected by the Her Majesty the Queen’s death.

/\ Thor


Thor sitting in a chair writing and Denny the dog sitting in her suitcase bed looking out the window