Aine Fox, PA Social Affairs Correspondent
Thu, 23 February 2023 at 12:01 am GMT
Schools, workplaces and communities are being encouraged to take part in a national day of reflection next month to remember those who have died, supported by celebrities including singer Sir Tom Jones.
March 23 will be end-of-life charity Marie Curie’s third annual day of reflection and takes place on the anniversary of the first lockdown.
The organisation said the day is a “one-of-a-kind opportunity to reflect on any death of a loved one, from any cause and at any time” and said this year will be significant given the Queen’s death in September.
A national minute’s silence is due to be held at midday.
The charity has urged schools, workplaces and communities to create a wall of reflection as a place to celebrate the lives of loved ones by sharing things including memories, photographs, poems and music.
Sir Tom said: “Losing someone you love is devastating – and it’s also something almost all of us have in common.
“Grief can so often feel very heavy, which is why Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection is so important. It gives us all a moment in time to come together with our friends and families, to remember and celebrate the people who aren’t with us any more.”
The day is also being supported by Marie Curie ambassadors Alison Steadman, of Gavin and Stacey fame, and Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter.
Jane Murray, bereavement services manager at Marie Curie Hospice in the West Midlands, said the day will allow people to “feel supported and know that they are not alone in their grief”.
She added: “The national outpouring of grief following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last September was palpable. People who themselves had been bereaved personally were united and used that time to grieve for their own loved ones. It was acceptable and encouraged.”
Marie Curie launched the national day of reflection in 2021 as a day to remember those who died during the pandemic.
An online toolkit can be downloaded at http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection with everything needed to prepare for the day.