A National Day of Reflection is taking place today to show support for the millions of people that have been bereaved during the last 12 months.
Led by end of life charity Marie Curie, over 300 organisations are taking part in the day including politicians, celebrities, emergency services, schools, charities, businesses, institutions, community groups, faith leaders and bereaved families across the UK.
Marie Curie estimates that over 6 million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began, and many have been unable to say goodbye to loved ones or even had the opportunity to grieve properly. The day will provide the nation with an opportunity to take a ‘minute to reflect and a moment to connect’. It gives communities a moment to remember, grieve and celebrate everyone who has died during this time and look towards a brighter future.
A nationwide minute’s silence will be held at 12 noon, observed by individuals, emergency services, key workers, the Prime Minister and Houses of Parliament, devolved governments, retailers and many more. People can also join an online Moment of Reflection from 11.35am hosted by Marie Curie.
Marie Curie are also asking the nation to shine lights on their doorsteps at 8pm – using phones, candles and torches to signify a ‘beacon of remembrance and support’. Buildings and landmarks will also be lit up yellow at nightfall – over 110 buildings including the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Blackpool Tower, Canterbury Cathedral, Neasden Temple, Kelpies, Senedd, Belfast City Hall and Cardiff Castle.
The Prince of Wales, Patron of Marie Curie, has also announced his support for the National Day of Reflection.
In a recorded video message, The Prince of Wales said, “We have all been inspired by the resourcefulness we have witnessed, humbled by the dedication shown by so many, and moved, beyond words, by the sacrifices we have seen.”
“Whatever our faith or philosophy may be, let us take a moment together to remember those who have been lost, to give thanks for their lives, and to acknowledge the inexpressible pain of parting.”
“In their memory, let us resolve to work for a future inspired by our highest values, that have been displayed so clearly by the people of this country through this most challenging of times.”
The charity is also urging everyone to take a moment to reflect on our collective loss and reach out to someone who is grieving today.
Free online talks featuring celebrities, expert panels, bereaved families will also be held throughout the afternoon for anyone to join.
Speaking about the day, Marie Curie Executive Director, Meredith Niles, said, “We hope that the National Day of Reflection provides a moment in time for everyone to reflect on our collective loss and show support for those who are grieving.”
“Grief and bereavement can be isolating, and social distancing has kept us apart when we most need connection.”
“Just a small gesture of support can provide such a boost.”
“There are many ways people can get involved on the day and remind someone who is grieving that they are not alone.”
Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection for more information and to find out what is going on near you.
If you’re struggling with grief or need support, you can find free bereavement resources, and a list of organisations that can help, on the National Day of Reflection webpage: http://mariecurie.org.uk/bereavement-resources and you can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 for ongoing support from a trained bereavement volunteer.
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