Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF ) is calling on the new Government to put in place a process for remembrance and reflection in post-Covid-19 Ireland. The Foundation has submitted a paper outlining a series of proposals for Ireland to remember and reflect on the pandemic.
Proposals from Irish Hospice Foundation include: (1 ) A national series of mourning and remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started in order to express our collective connection with the bereaved and to honour, comfort and support and (2 ) Reigniting a national conversation on dying, death and bereavement in Ireland, led by Government, to be followed by an official process to make recommendations and put them into effect.
Chief Executive of Irish Hospice Foundation, Sharon Foley, said: "Although we are not through the pandemic, we must begin to plan for a process of active collective remembrance, reflection and recovery as part of the recuperation in post-Covid-19 Ireland.
"The ongoing response to the crisis continues to challenge us all in how we confront and deal with dying, death and bereavement. 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.
"We are calling for a national day or week of remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started in order to express our collective connection with the bereaved and to honour, comfort and support.
"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.
"We have already shared our recommendations with Government and call on our new government to lead this work in partnership with critical agencies."
For nearly 35 years, IHF 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.
IHF has also received funding from Creative Ireland to deliver the Government’s new Creativity in Older Age Programme announced this week.
Over the next 18 months, IHF will produce a series of projects designed to give meaning to the difficulties experienced through dying, death and bereavement including the curation of a poetry collection, By Your Side.