While on some level the period of uncertainty that was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic may seem almost behind us, for many people the effects are still being felt keenly years later. Not only does the underlying stress, disruption and anxiety of lockdowns still underpin the daily lives of many, lots of people who sadly lost a loved one throughout the pandemic, to COVID or otherwise, would agree that the unique sting of sadness remains particularly strong.

The heartbreak of not only being unable to visit sick loved ones in the hospital to hold their hand or say goodbye, but also the crushing disappointment of not being able to provide, or attend, the meaningful final send off that the person they lost deserved. If you were lucky enough to have not experienced this first hand, you will certainly know someone that would have sadly been through this, having lost a family member or friend during the pandemic.

Four years on, as we once again approach the anniversary of that first full lockdown, we’re proud to join many across the country in marking Day of Reflection on Sunday 3rd March 2024.

What is Day of Reflection?

You may have heard about Day of Reflection, created by the Marie Curie charity; an annual occasion, now in its fourth year, that encourages everyone to take a moment to remember those who died during the pandemic. While, of course, nothing can or will replace that lost time together with someone close to you, a hospital visit prevented or a funeral not attended, the day provides a chance to remind anyone affected that, even though years may have passed, you’re not alone.

Anybody can get involved in marking the occasion and the Day of Reflection meaning is something that is truly individual. You may wish to take some quiet time alone, or with friends and family, to reminisce about good times past and hopes for the future – or you may reach out to a friend that could use some company and support at the moment. You could even take the opportunity with your workplace, school, or another organisation, to engage with the project and raise funds for Marie Curie’s work in providing vital end-of-life support for those who need it.

If you would like to simply share the name of someone important to you who passed away during the pandemic, for this year’s Day of Reflection, the charity has introduced their special yellow petal (which can be downloaded here), which can help you do just that. What you do is up to you, whether you’d like to write your loved one’s name (or your favourite fond memory with them) or simply decorate the petal, before displaying it privately indoors at home or in a window. You may like to collaborate with colleagues or schoolmates to create a meaningful display to encourage conversation… whatever feels right to mark your feelings and memories.

Why not follow the project online, too, to join the community of people across the country sharing their loved one’s name and story this year… use #DayOfReflection across all social platforms if and when you post your photos and videos, and make sure to tag Marie Curie UK for a share, and to encourage others to get involved.

More resources, including Event Poster, Schools pack and Social Media pack are available to download on the Day of Reflection website, where you’ll also find more information including how to get in touch for support.