12 March 2021
National Federation chair John Apter has shared his experience of losing his Mum during the global pandemic, as forces and Federation branches across the country pledge to support this month’s National Day of Reflection.
The day is taking place on 23 March, exactly a year after the pandemic was declared. Led by charity Marie Curie, the day has been set to remember those who have died since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re proud to come together with the rest of the nation to support Marie Curie’s day to reflect and remember,” said John.
In a feature in today’s Daily Express, John has spoken about losing his Mum, Joyce, in August last year after she was diagnosed with lung cancer at the beginning of the pandemic in March.
“My Mum was the best mum you could wish for,” says John, the youngest of three children. He added: “She was funny, kind and generous.”
Having been admitted to hospital after her health deteriorated, Joyce was also in an isolation room with suspected Covid-19.
“This was so hard for us as a family,” said John, “Mum was scared and needed us there.”
After being cleared of Covid-19, Joyce was moved to St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, where she received end-of-life care. Joyce sadly died at the end of August, having made some ‘wonderful memories’ with John in her final few days.
“I still struggle with the loss but knowing how much she was cared for in her final weeks brings me lots of comfort,” John added.
John and millions of others will be remembering their loved ones this National Day of Reflection. At midday, there will be a minute’s silence and in the evening, at 8pm, the country will take to their doorsteps and shine a light in a ‘beacon of remembrance’.
The National Association of Retired Police Officers will also be joining those remembering, with member Brian Burdus adding: “We are supporting the National Day of Reflection, as all our 93,000 members will have been affected in some way by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Federation is encouraging those who have dealt with loss or are bereavement, especially while at work, to reach out for support if they need it.