Dundonians who have suffered the heartache of losing a loved one during the coronavirus pandemic are to be given the chance to share their thoughts and feelings.
Say Something Dundee is holding an online Conversation Café on March 23 – the anniversary of the UK going into the first national lockdown.
The event will be part of a national day to remember those who have died during the pandemic and to show support for everyone who has been bereaved.
A spokeswoman for the Dundee event said the National Day of Reflection will give the nation and communities a moment to remember, grieve and commemorate everyone who has died during this time and show support for families, friends and colleagues who are grieving.
She said: “The café, which is open to anyone in the Dundee area, will involve time for quiet reflection followed by an informal and relaxed chat, a chance to connect with others and to be part of an important conversation about death, dying, loss and care.”
Linda Sterry, of local organisation Funeral Link, one of the partners that make up Say Something Dundee, said: “Our first online Conversation Café was a huge success and people really appreciated the space to open up about their experiences of death, dying, loss and care.
“We hope that lots more people can join us on the Day of Reflection, where we will look back on the last year and on our collective losses.
“It has been an awful year for so many of us and we hope that as Say Something Dundee we can support local people to come together as a more compassionate community and help those who have been bereaved know that they are not alone, that support is available and that their loved ones are not forgotten.”
Say Something Dundee is a partnership between Funeral Link, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, University of Dundee, Making Recovery Real Dundee and Marie Curie, and part of the national compassionate communities initiative, The Truacanta Project.
Linda said: “Say Something Dundee’s aim is to make conversations around death, dying, loss and care easier to initiate through local campaigns, workshops and discussions.
“We believe that by choosing to be open about death, dying, loss and care we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a struggle with pain, bereavement, grief and loss.
A spokesman for Marie Curie, the charity running the national day of reflection, said: “Since the first lockdown began in 2020, hundreds of thousands of people have died.
“Too many lives have been cut short and millions have been bereaved.
“Behind the statistics and whatever the cause, every death has been devastating for the people left behind.
“We want people to join us on March 23, the first anniversary of the first UK lockdown, for a National Day of Reflection to reflect on our collective loss, support those who’ve been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.
“There are still tough times ahead, as the death toll continues to rise.
“This day will give us all time to pause and think about this unprecedented loss we’re facing, and support each other through grief in the years to come.”
Registration for the Dundee event, to be held between 12.30pm and 2pm, on March 23, is at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/say-something-dundee-conversation-cafe-for-national-day-of-reflection-tickets-145901058995