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MPCT Observes ‘National Day Of Reflection’

On Tuesday 23rd March, one year after the country went into lockdown MPCT joined the nation in marking a  ‘National Day Of Reflection’. We took a minute’s silence to remember those that we have lost; we must all continue to support each other through the tough times ahead while looking forward to a better future.

CEO Huw Lewis MBE delivered the following speech to the entire MPCT family in a virtual gathering:

“It’s no surprise that this Marie Curie National Day of Reflection has gained such widespread support. One year on from the lockdown forced by a pandemic that has changed all of our lives – many, for ever – they are asking us to do three things…

The first is to reflect on our collective loss. Over 126,000 people have now died from Coronavirus in the UK and countless others may have died indirectly either through delayed medical treatment or through the effects of economic hardship. The scale of the outbreak in the UK is greater than any we’ve experienced since the “Spanish Flu” of 1918. We all know someone who has been affected. So, we need this day. We need to reflect, to remember, to acknowledge and for most of us, to be thankful, as there are so many who have suffered or sacrificed more than ourselves.

Out of our reflection we are also called to action, so the second thing we are being encouraged to do is to support those who have been bereaved. Marie Curie suggest we take a moment to connect with people we know who are going through bereavement. It can be a long journey. There may be something practical we can do to help or if not, then just a phone call or a gesture like sending flowers or a card lets them know they are not forgotten. It’s often hard to know what to say but the most important thing is just to say something, even if it’s very simple.

When words are hard to find we often look to symbols. Back in November we supported the Annual Poppy Appeal, the poppy being our enduring symbol of remembrance. Marie Curie’s symbol is the daffodil. Close to the hearts of us in Wales as our national flower, the daffodil is a vibrant symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. It’s not over yet and many people will be struggling with the impact of Covid for months and years to come, but at this time of year as we look back, we can’t help but look forward too, with hope. That is the last of the three things Marie Curie are asking us to do, quite simply: To hope for a brighter future.

I hope that as we go forward, we’ll take with us everything that we’ve learnt from the past year, all that new understanding; things we’ve discovered about ourselves, our own strengths and weaknesses, new bonds made with colleagues who’ve shared our challenges, compassion and respect we’ve felt for others who’ve bravely faced their own. Most of us will have learnt that we can be happy with simple freedoms and many of us will now understand that what we need most, is each other.

Marie Curie herself said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

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