I arose very early, just past 4:00 am on the east coast of the United States, to watch the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton on this special day, April 29, 2011. Along with billions around the globe, I witnessed two very poised, elegant, attractive individuals who are ready to move forward together toward their destiny as the future King and Queen of Great Britain.
Perhaps I felt a great need to witness this event live since I remember, like so many of us, when their mother, Princess Diana was killed on August 31, 1997 and waking up at a friend’s beach house that Labor Day weekend to that news. We were all shocked and tears just streamed down our faces. How could this be happening and how would these young boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, then 15 and 12, deal with the sudden death of the mother they so loved.
When Diana passed, it was like we were all grieving children that day. She had married, so young, a man who never loved her. Her relationship with Prince Charles was continually strained, yet she rose to become a true philanthropic individual all on her own.
Not only did she deeply love her children but she also cared for the less fortunate, especially with her work with Mother Teresa and the AIDS charities helping families whose loved ones had died. Ironically, her sons now support charities which help the less fortunate, even one which assists families of those killed in the British military.
The newlyweds have decided to create a charitable trust for their special day, whereby, in lieu of gifts, they have asked that donations be made for the benefit of others. How wonderful.
So today, on this memorable day, I’m sure both Prince William and Prince Harry had more than a few bittersweet moments when they fantasized what this day would have been like had their mother been present, celebrating with them and welcoming a new Princess into the family.
Because of their position and wealth, they received professional help with their grief and learned how to handle it. Like all grieving children, they needed to express their disbelief, fear, anxiety, anger, overwhelm, etc.
Their family knew how important it was to get them the help they needed. And whether you live within a royal family or a common family, a grieving child needs our support as they work through the pain and loss of a parent, sibling or other significant relative or individual in their life.
This is exactly why the Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. was created and why your donations help provide grief support services for young ones who may not come from a royal family, but who, nevertheless, need to be treated like royalty during their grieving process.
Our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Ahh…a name dear to my heart!