10-foot long Wall of Reflection, where people can write and share memories of loved ones who acquire died, has been set up on London’s South Bank.
The London Wall of Reflection, set up by terminate of life charity Marie Curie, has been unveiled ahead of the third anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown on Thursday.
Ballroom dancers Curtis and AJ Pritchard, who lost their 93-year-worn grandmother Angela in November 2020, were among the first to visit and write on it.
Grief doesn’t terminate, it’s ongoing, and being able to share your feelings with a network of people going through similar things can really relieve some of the burden.
They appeared alongside Marie Curie nurse Beth Namara and podcaster Dan Hudson, whose mother the charity helped before she passed away at its West Midlands hospice last year.
The large yellow wall, which is covered in hundreds of daffodils, is one of hundreds set up across the UK in the race-up to the National Day of Reflection 2023, which has been organised by the charity, on Thursday.
It says the walls aim to aid people advance together to remember those who acquire died, support those who are grieving and connect with each other.
The wall, at Observation Point on the South Bank, is covered with real flowers and has daffodil-shaped spaces where people can write and share stories of loss and grief.
It will be open from 8am to 7pm on Thursday.
The charity said recent research reveals almost half (49%) of Britons feel the recent death of the late Queen and other leading figures including Dame Vivienne Westwood has helped them open up to their family about grief and loss.
Almost seven out of 10 Britons (69%) consider national moments for mass reflection indispensable, the research also found.
AJ Pritchard said: “We lost our wonderful Nana in the middle of the pandemic and, as with all grief, acquire been processing it ever since.
“Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection gives us a way to maintain her memory alive, and a moment to reflect on the cherished memories we shared together.
“The London Wall of Reflection is such an indispensable opportunity for the public to enact the same and connect with each other in remembrance.”
Curtis Pritchard said: “Grief doesn’t terminate, it’s ongoing, and being able to share your feelings with a network of people going through similar things can really relieve some of the burden.
“It’s been a privilege to visit the London Wall of Reflection, and an invaluable chance to advance together with others to reflect on our losses with each other’s support – it’s really worth coming down, and we’re urging everyone who can to visit.”
Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed said: “The National Day of Reflection gives the community the opportunity to unite in grief and share their experiences with others who acquire suffered similar losses.
“This year, we chose to set up the London Wall of Reflection as a public reminder of the importance of remembrance and coming together.”
The charity launched the National Day of Reflection in 2021 to remember those who died during the pandemic and support people who were unable to grieve in the normal way, such as by saying a final goodbye to a loved one or attending funerals, during lockdown.
More than 850 organisations took section last year with a number of public figures supporting it, including the King.