A ‘National Day of Reflection’ is being led by end-of-life charity Marie Curie today – the anniversary of the UK going into the first national lockdown.
Marie Curie estimates that more than three million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began, yet many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve.
The day is being supported by the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, who are planning to honour all those who have died during the pandemic, regardless of their cause of death.
A minute’s silence was held at noon and there is be a memorial tree at Musgrove Park Hospital’s chapel, which will hold the names of people who have died under their care throughout the last year.
In addition every Thursday the chaplaincy team at the hospital continues to host a 15 minute pause for reflection, followed by a 30 minute virtual coffee break. For more details go: https://www.somersetft.nhs.uk/chaplaincy-and-spiritual/chaplaincy-and-spiritual-care/community-chaplaincy-and-spiritual-care/
Helen Gilliland, The Trust’s lead bereavement and medical examiner’s officer, said: “The National Day of Reflection is an opportunity for everyone to pay our respects to those who have died throughout the pandemic and for those who are grieving the death of a loved one.
“It is so important that we reach out and not only give families the opportunity for their relatives name to be heard but to also show that we have not forgotten the sacrifices that families and key workers have made through very difficult times. It is a chance for us all to come together as one.”
How you can get involved
Somerset FT’s bereavement and chaplaincy teams invite families whose loved ones died in our care during the last 12 months, to send the name of the person who has died to its patient experience team. You can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and using ‘National Day of Reflection’ as the subject heading.
The person’s name will be written onto a yellow leaf, read out and hung on the tree. Should any family wish to have the leaf afterwards, include a postal address in the body of the email and it can be sent to them to keep.
About the National Day of Reflection
Marie Curie warns that without the right support for people who have been bereaved, the devastation that the pandemic has caused will impact the lives of people for generations.
Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances.
“We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.
“The National Day of Reflection on 23 March gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from COVID-19 and other causes.”
To find out more about the National Day of Reflection and how to get involved visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection. #DayofReflection