Time for Reflection

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 27 February 2024.

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Photo of Alison Johnstone Alison Johnstone Green

Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection, for which our leader is Carol Telfer, the chaplain of the Glasgow Marie Curie hospice.

Carol Telfer (Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow):

Thank you for this opportunity.

Over the past three years, Marie Curie has proudly led the nation in taking a moment to reflect and remember those who died during the pandemic, as well as supporting family, friends, colleagues and neighbours who are grieving. Sunday 3 March has been chosen for the day of reflection, when we will specifically remember and pay tribute to those close to us who died when so many people were unable to properly grieve their loved ones.

My dad was one who faced his final days alone, as we, as a family, were unable to be with him as he died away from home and away from those who loved him. The inability to celebrate his life through a proper funeral was difficult to come to terms with, as he was loved by so many.

Sadly, our story is not unique, and we are aware of the impact that the pandemic has made on so many. We are just one family who will take time on 3 March to pause and remember someone who was loved so much.

This year, we again encourage everyone to take a moment of reflection to remember a loved one who has died. That could take many forms—spending time with family to reminisce, having a moment’s silence in an otherwise busy day, or taking the time to pause and reflect on the days in which the world was thrown into turmoil and after which the lives of many would never be the same.

As well as being about remembering loved ones who have died, and about supporting those who are grieving, the day of reflection is also a time of hope and looking forward. Marie Curie’s vision is that everyone should have the best possible support and care as they or their loved one approach the end of life. Although such people may struggle to be hopeful, we want that time to be at least peaceful.

A verse in Isaiah chapter 26 says:

“God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you.”

There is a prayer for all who have experienced loss:

“May the Master of the sea still your storm. May you be reminded that God is present, even as the winds whirl and the waves crash. May you hold on to the hope that after the storm comes the calm; after the night comes the day.”

Amen.

[

Applause

.]

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, chaplain.