Thursday March 23, 2023 is the National Day of Reflection to mark the third anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown. This annual awareness day was put in place to show support for the millions of people in the UK who’ve been bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic and to give us all a chance to reflect on the lives of people we’ve lost.

At a time that was already unimaginably hard, grief and trauma during the pandemic was exacerbated by restrictions. Families and friends were precluded from being with their loved ones in their final moments and the ability to grieve for them at a funeral or similar gathering was also taken away.

My mother-in-law Nora Hart died in April 2020. It was a non COVID related death but we obviously had to abide by the restrictions like everybody else. It was an incredibly difficult time for my wife Lynn and her brother Kenny with all the usual societal conventions of a funeral and wake reduced to a dozen of us saying goodbye at the graveside. Though it all seems like an eternity ago I know many people still struggle with the trauma of both COVID and the restrictions so many of us did our very best to observe.

In Ross we will be marking the National Day of Reflection with a short service at the Plague Cross in St Mary’s churchyard. The service will commence at 11.15am and everybody is invited to attend. There will also be a minutes silence at noon you can share wherever you may be. The lockdown period feels unreal and surreal to me now. Many of us don’t want to remember that period of fear and isolation but I think it’s important we do reflect and remember those we lost.

Marie Curie play a leading role organising events for the Day of Reflection as well as providing ongoing support for all those struggling with grief. If you, or someone you know, needs help they can be reached on 0800 0902309.