National Day of Reflection

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Dealing with Grief and Loss on The UK’s National Day of Reflection

A definition of grief:

The response to loss, particularly the loss of someone or some living thing that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, grief also has physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions.

Throughout our lives there are many instances where we experience losses – the loss of our home comforts as we start school, the loss of our friends as we move through our childhoods, the loss of relationships, good health or employment.

While we accept all these – and death – are a part of the life cycle, the grief we feel after the loss of a loved one is perhaps the most unique and individual.

Will we feel pain? Will we feel numb? Will we feel anger or sadness? Will we cry? If we don’t feel the need to cry, what does this mean? Should we feel guilty? Will we forget things about our loved one? How will our feelings evolve? How will we handle their birthday or an anniversary in that first year? How will we handle the first-year anniversary of their death itself and does it get any easier after we’ve experienced those ‘firsts’?

Tuesday March 23rd is the UK’s first National Day of Reflection – allowing us to remember our loved ones who are among the 148,000 who have so far died with Covid over the 12 months.

As part of the day there is a minute’s silence and a national doorstep vigil at 12 noon, with the nation encouraged to create a UK-wide ‘beacon of remembrance’ on their doorsteps by shining phones, candles torches into the night sky at 8pm.

While these national events are at fixed times, grief can strike at any moment. Human nature means we may be feeling strong one day, but a memory or song or a certain smell may trigger our emotions, meaning we need to deal with our grief.

The healthiest way to handle our grief is to release those feelings and process our thoughts and memories. It is for this reason we have a range of resources available on our website to help people reflect on the past year and remember their loved ones, at any chosen moment.

Pure Reflection offers a series of 12 themes for people to follow while remembering their loved ones. It is available at Pure-Reflection