TOVEY BROS will be joining countless communities coming together across the country next week when a national day of reflection will be held to mark the first be held to mark the first anniversary of Britain going into lockdown. We will pause to hold a minute’s silence at noon on Tuesday 23 March in remembrance of the 125,000 people who have died in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
Charities and politicians are also urging members of the public to contact someone they know who is grieving. Organisers of the remembrance event, which include the British Red Cross, Marie Curie, the Jo Cox Foundation and Royal Voluntary Service, said that following the silence at noon, prominent landmarks will be lit up across the country at 8pm. They hope the day will be commemorated annually, with other community-led acts such as virtual reflective assemblies, candle lighting on doorsteps and yellow ribbons wrapped around trees. In Newport, the civic centre clock will be lit up in yellow in tribute to those who have died and to reflect on those losses and the experiences of the past 12 months.
James Tovey, of Tovey Bros, said: “Our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones during what has been an exceptionally difficult year. Behind every statistic is a personal tragedy and we welcome this time to reflect on our collective loss and continue to offer support to the bereaved.
“We are very conscious that many people grieving have not been able to honour family and friends with the funeral they may have wanted due to restrictions so are at risk of complex or traumatic grief. It’s also much harder to access the usual support networks, from face-to-face professional help to neighbours dropping in to pay their respects, so there is an element of not getting the ‘closure’ needed to move forward through the grieving process.
“We are looking forward to re-starting our STEPS bereavement support group as soon as it is safe to do so, and in the meantime, would urge anyone struggling to seek advice and support from Dr Bill Webster’s Grief Journey website which tackles the unique global grief so many are facing post-pandemic.
Dr Bill added: “People have died in frightening numbers, often without loved ones having an opportunity to say goodbye as they would have liked. One way or another, what we have been through in the last year, for the most part, has been traumatic, and for every action there is a reaction.
“Now that we can see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, some might think that surely the end is in sight. Unfortunately, grief does not work like that. People usually seem to cope well in the initial stages of a situation, but it is often shock and adrenalin which enables them to get through the crisis. However, we have been impacted by the pandemic, most of us have done what we needed to do, and got on with the realities of 2020.
“But now that we can see the ‘beginning of the end’ of this crisis, my concern is that the effects will begin to set in. How will people be able to come to terms with, or reconcile, whatever crisis they have faced? ‘Now that’ will sadly become ‘now what’? Think about it. Many of the rituals of grieving, adapting and integrating, which are essential elements of the grief process, have been postponed or cancelled. Funerals have been restricted in numbers and many have not been able to have the funeral they wanted.
“What are we doing to make it easier for them to have celebrations of life when the crisis is over? Those of us who have the privilege of supporting grieving people must be alert to the possibility of delayed grief due to bereavement overload, whereby people who have simply been overwhelmed by all that has happened to them might find it more difficult to work through their own process. Think of it like baggage. If you carry too much around, you’re not going to make your destination. But most of us are not going anywhere soon, so maybe this would be a good time to begin to unpack.”