Today, the 19th of July, is the day that many have termed “Freedom Day.” It is the day that restrictions across England are lifted and, whilst some will have been looking forward to this day, for others it will bring up a whole wealth of emotions.
For many people, this day will bring with it anxiety and uncertainty. There will be some people who will continue to be cautious. For the people whose condition has meant that they have spent the pandemic shielding, the news of restrictions easing may cause even more concern. We hope that, as a city, we can continue to support each other and bear in mind those fears as we move forward.
For many people, this day will remind them of the people they lost; the people who died during the pandemic, many of whom could not be properly grieved for. Not only has Covid-19 caused the deaths of around 129, 000 people in the UK, but it has also forced many to grieve without the usual support networks or grieving rituals. It is so important, as the country returns to a sense of normality, that we allow space for conversations around this grief, both shared and individual.
That is why The Harbour continues to be there for people when they need us most, providing a safe space for people to talk and be listened to as they face death, dying and bereavement. Our work has sadly never been more needed in Bristol.
As restrictions ease, let us be gentle and kind to each other, and let us create space to truly honour those we have lost.