National Day of Reflection

On Thursday 23 March 2023, the ‘National Day of Reflection’ will 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 everyone a chance to reflect on the lives of the people we've lost.

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As a result of the pandemic, people from all walks of life have had to say goodbye to loved ones. 

At a time that is 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.  

The 'National Day of Reflection' is a way for us, as a nation, to come together and acknowledge this lasting pain. With compassion and love, we can show those who are grieving that they are not alone.

Whatever your background, whatever your beliefs, and whatever you've been through, the National Day of Reflection will give us all time to stop and show our support for each other, both now and in the years to come.

Taking Part in the National Day of Reflection 

Each year, individuals, organisations, companies, groups and schools from all over the UK are invited to join Marie Curie in supporting everyone who has been bereaved due to Covid-19. 

Everyone is encouraged to observe the 'National Day of Reflection' in any way that they feel allows them the opportunity to pause, reflect and remember the people we have lost. 

A full list of local reflection events in your area can be found on the Marie Curie website. You can also use one of the suggestions listed below or create your own.  

Ideas for Individuals 

  • Observe a one-minute silence 

  • Light a candle 

  • Write a poem 

  • Organise a group meditation 

Ideas for Companies and Organisations 

  • Light up a landmark or building in yellow 

  • Tie yellow ribbons around trees in your local area 

  • Host webinars that address grief and loss 

  • Change your social media profiles and content to raise awareness 

Ideas for Schools 

  • Start an art project based on the theme of reflection 

  • Have the school choir perform a song in memory of those we've lost 

  • Plant flowers to symbolise the lives we remember and celebrate

How do we speak to loved ones about loss, grief, and bereavement experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Ahead of the second annual National Day of Reflection, we spoke to Dee Holmes from Relate – the UK's largest provider of relationship support – about how and why people should speak to loved ones about loss, grief, and bereavement experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The National Day of Reflection: speaking to Marie Curie about the need to express grief and reflect upon bereavement

We spoke to Jane Murray from Marie Curie about why the National Day of Reflection can be an important moment for us all. During our chat, she shared practical advice on how to deal with bereavement as well as how to support those experiencing grief.

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Covid Aid's Day of Reflection 

Marie Curie is an exceptional national charity that cares for people with terminal illnesses. Throughout the pandemic, they have provided information and support to those undergoing and seeking end of life care during coronavirus.  

It is our honour to support them and raise awareness of their National Day of Reflection. On this day, people from all over the UK can come together and know that they are not alone. 

That's why, during the 2022 Day of Reflection, we:

  • hosted an online National Day of Reflection Special: Virtual Drop-in Café to observe the minute's silence at midday

  • provided our managed Support Community where everyone can discuss their feelings, and which has related advice and information including from Marie Curie, Cruse Bereavement Support, and Relate

  • hosted our Covid Loss wall as a safe space for people to share their memories of loved ones who have passed away

  • hosted our Covid Heroes wall as place where people can recognise the amazing people who have provided invaluable support during challenging times 

This year, to mark the 2023 National Day of Reflection, we:

  • are joining Marie Curie's Moment of Reflection minute's silence

  • attending Scotland's Covid Memorial and the Mersey Memorial Ferry in Liverpool, hosted by covid10familiesuk

  • publishing a series of real-life stories as part of our "Three Years On" campaign, with the aim to reflect the need for visibility and to raise the voices of the millions around the UK who continue to be affected

  • created a Wall of Refection where people can add a special dedication in memory of a loved one

  • continuing to manage our Support Community where people can discuss their feelings, and access supportive tools and resources

Support #NationalDayofReflection 

Visit Marie Curie's dedicated National Day of Reflection page to find out more.

I Remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial audiobook released for National Day of Reflection

Read by Robert Carlyle, the audiobook created for I Remember, Scotland’s Covid Memorial, is now available to listen to online – coinciding with the National Day of Reflection on 23 March taking place around the UK.

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