The University would like to support students, Doctoral Researchers and staff members to take time out of their working day to reflect on the last year and attend virtual events taking place as part of the Good Grief Festival. This includes a minute of silence, workshops on how organisations can support people who are grieving, and learning coping mechanisms to help your own grief.
Below, University Chaplain Deacon Jan Sutton and Adele MacKinlay have shared their thoughts and support for the initiative.
A message from Deacon Jan Sutton:
It is difficult to believe that a year has passed by since the University, along with the nation, entered its first lockdown. On 23 March 2021, we are being given the opportunity to offer our thoughts for those who have died as a result of Covid-19, and for everyone who has died throughout the year.
Families, friends, colleagues and others may feel they have not been able to mark their loss and pay respect to those they love because restrictions have meant we have not been able to say goodbye or begin the journey of grief in ways that are so natural to us.
With this day, we are being given the opportunity to join with the nation to take part in a variety of online events and to come together to reflect on our collective loss. This is a chance for us all to stop what we are doing at 12pm, honour loved ones by standing silently together, staying just where we are at that moment, and again at 8pm to shine a light outside our homes to light up the night.
The best tribute we can offer is that we continue to support each other, be kind when we can, and comfort each other as we walk this journey of grief. And then, we shall remember the past with joy in our hearts and look forward with hope and love for all that is yet to come.
For staff and students who will be on campus that day, the Centre for Faith and Spirituality will have prayer rooms open for quiet space, prayer and reflection. Candles can also be lit in the Chapel.
Loughborough’s Director of People, Organisational Development and EDI Adèle MacKinlay added: “The coronavirus pandemic has tragically killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world and left many millions grieving and profoundly affecting all of our lives. March 23rd will mark a year since the UK’s first lockdown began, and provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the collective loss and our hope for the future.
“We’re supporting Marie Curie’s ‘National Day of Reflection’ activities and encourage staff and students to join the minute’s silence at 12pm, join an online event or get involved in a way that suits you.”
Leicester Cathedral will also be holding a Memorial of Lament which will be live-streamed next Tuesday at 7pm to make the anniversary of the first lockdown and remember those who we have lost in the county. More information about the service and how to join the virtual event can be found here.