Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grief from Across The Pond

The pond being the Atlantic Ocean.  It isn't as snowy in London as it looks on the news.  Went to the exhibition on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.  They always picture her as - well - as Victorian - but there is a portrait of her made only for Albert with her hair streaming loose on her bare shoulders and a definitely sensual look about her - and she did have all of those children.  They loved the theater and opera and costume balls - and art.  I always say that I have so much but without Artie it feels like so little. But - hey - I'm not Queen of England and I don't have bunches of diamonds the size of my fist and palaces etc...  It goes back to what I've said about it not making any difference about who you are or how much you have if you the person you love most dies.  Albert died in 1861 and Victoria lived another 40 years.  She did keep the blue room where he died unchanged - except for painting angels on the ceiling and putting fresh flowers on the bed and a bust of him and paintings of him in the room.  They celebrated his birthday every year and she wore a black cap and widow's clothes for the rest of her life.  Of course, being royalty - she had statues and busts and paintings and a huge memorial commissioned. 

The writer of a book I bought says this reaction to her grief - it took a while for her to return to public view and her royal duties which caused problems in the country - was extrememe by modern standards - but not unusual for the 19th century.  I wonder.  Is it only that it was more public then?  I wish I had a widow's cap to wear - but in today's time I would look rather silly - that is why I have my grief ring. (Although I keep wearing the wedding rings.  They make me feel loved.)  The book says she lost a confidante and partner and adviser in all things relating to her role as monarch.  Well - even with woman having a more liberated role in American and western society- Artie still was my confidante and partner and adviser in all things relating to my role as monarch (monarch in my own house!!). 

Victoria says in a letter, "You never will believe how UNWELL and how WEAK and nervous I am, but any talking or excitement is far too much for me...any merriment or discussion are quite unbearable." 

I have only 4 minutes left of computer time so will end here - from regular folks to the rich and famous we are all grief warriors - keeping the memory of our loved ones alive - a trying to figure out how to live our lives so they will be proud of us.  Going to see a play tonight.  Same old roller coaster - where ever I go there I am and there Artie isn't. Although I did pack his Yankee jacket and am sleeping in it.  Being foolish - or maybe just Victorian.  :)  (Of course Prince Albert had a Yankee jacket...well, he would have if he lived in a different century!)   xo

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