By Cian Molloy - 01 August, 2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic is defeated, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) would like the government to declare a national day of mourning and reflection.
The foundation is calling for a series of events remembering those who have died since COVID-19 arrived in this country in March. The aim would be to remember those who have died as a result of coronovirus and also to remember those who have died for other reasons.
IHF chief executive Sharon Foley hopes these events will reignite a national conversation, led by Government, on the subject of dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. It is also hoped that this dialogue would lead to an official process to make, and put into effect, recommendations about how we deal with our mortality and with bereavement and with the loss of loved ones.
“Our collective experience over the past number of months has shown us that we can’t afford to turn away from our collective mortality and we need to come together and learn how to face it, head on,” she said, calling for a national day or week of remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started.
“This should be accompanied by a deeper engagement with Irish society on the reflections from COVID-19 and how we address dying, death and bereavement,” the Foundation’s chief executive explained. “We have already shared our recommendations with Government and call on our new government to lead this work in partnership with critical agencies.”
For three-and-a-half decades, nearly, the hospice foundation has advocated for a more strategic approach to dying, death and bereavement and led various initiatives to get people talking about mortality.
In conjunction with the HSE, IHF launched Ireland’s first national Bereavement Support Line in June to offer support and assistance to all those bereaved, especially during the pandemic. The freephone service available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 1800 80 70 77