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White candle burns in a china holder next to a glass of spring flowers

Supporting each other this National Day of Reflection

Barbara Sujecka

Our Support and Wellbeing Facilitator Barbara blogs her thoughts about the people behind the numbers this National Day of Reflection. And why she'll light a candle to show support.

Every time we switch on the news, we see endless numbers, statistics and information graphs. Over 121 million recorded cases worldwide. 28 million people in the UK have had their first vaccine. Current estimate for the R number between 0.6 and 0.8.

And then there are the numbers of people who have died in the last 24 hours with COVID-19. And the many people who died without having a positive test.

Behind the numbers

It’s easy to look at these numbers and think of them as indicators of tighter restrictions needed, of lockdowns working, or the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout. But behind each number, whatever the cause, every death has been devastating for the friends and family mourning that loss.

Not being able to be with a loved one at the end, funerals watched online, life saving treatments postponed, the bereaved left un-hugged and communities unable to meet to mourn. As we look forward to the summer and a return to ‘normality’, for many of us there will be mixed emotions and grieving still to be done.

Taking time to reflect

I am very pleased the MS Society is joining the end of life charity Marie Curie to take part in the National Day of Reflection today, a year since the first lockdown began. It's a day for us all to come together to reflect on our collective loss, support each other and hope for a brighter future.

If you haven’t been bereaved yourself, it’s an opportunity to pause for a while and think about the last 12 months.

If you’d like to join us, there’s lots of suggestions on the Marie Curie website

Lighting a candle, starting a conversation

I like the idea Marie Curie have put forward around taking a minute together at midday to connect and show support.

My day will also include lighting a candle in the evening and embracing the power of the daffodil which in my opinion should be the national symbol of hope!

I hope that by coming together to support people grieving, we’ll start more open conversations around bereavement and end of life. Loss will not end with the end of restrictions. It’s important people who are grieving can get the support they need.

Find support and events about loss on the Marie Curie website

Looking to a more hopeful future

With spring comes the hope of meeting friends and family again. And opportunities to reconnect with people and celebrate the lives of those no longer with us.

It’s important to reflect but just as important to look forward – and hope for a brighter future.