The death of Queen Elizabeth shook the United Kingdom. News coverage of people sobbing, laying mementos and notes, and waiting hours in line to see the coffin at Westminster Hall reveals just how massive a role she played in people’s lives.

Perhaps more intriguing is the unexpected effect her death has had on many in Great Britain and beyond. The sadness of her passing caught some off-guard. After all, they didn’t know her personally and yet they grieved for her.

It kind of reminds me of the impact older folks have on younger generations. While the 96-year-old queen, who reigned for 70 years, was a unique story, she was similar to many older people who play larger-than-life roles in our lives. When they depart this world, we feel a profound sadness. They are such a part of us; we have come to depend on them. We have never lived without them.

The equanimity of the queen and her steadfast adherence to tradition — which rankled many at times — was also the character trait that people came to rely on and respect. In a world that is often filled with confusion, sadness and turmoil, she served as an anchor and possibly a comfort. So, too, it often is with the older generation.

This week, Home Sweet Home profiled Mike Michel, the creator of CareTrainr, an app that helps family and professional caregivers onboard employees. The owner’s inspiration? A former client, a radiologist, who taught Michel about pursuing a dream, affecting change, forging a meaningful path.

How lucky you, in the home care world, are to be able to take care of people who have made their mark, experienced so much and, yet, still have so much to give — even at the end of their lives.

Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected].