Grief must not become taboo as we mark our collective loss on Day of Reflection, says Bradshaw

Alliance Executive Office spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said Sunday’s Day of Reflection is an opportunity to reflect on our collective loss but also to focus on providing improved support for those bereaved who are still struggling.

Paula Bradshaw Executive Office

The day was initiated by the Marie Curie charity and is now established in early March by the UK Commission for Covid Commemoration.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “This is our opportunity collectively to remember all those who died during the pandemic, of whatever cause, and to reflect on the loss of loved ones, loss of routine and loss or ritual which causes so much disruption and trauma.

“However, it is also an opportunity to consider for many this remains a current trauma. Of nearly 200,000 people bereaved over the period of the pandemic in Northern Ireland alone, many were unable to part from their loved ones normally, many were unable to benefit from the support of wider groups of friends and family, and many still feel they need support.

“That grief must not become taboo – on the contrary, we must find ways to help those still experiencing it and to express our collective support – be it through practical assistance or through memorials at prominent locations and online as appropriate.

“On the Day of Reflection, we hold those who are still struggling in our thoughts, we express our gratitude to those who took such risks to maintain vital services such as in healthcare and food provision, and we reflect on our collective trauma. We must also redouble our efforts to ensure those who need it receive meaningful support and recognition.”