Belfast Cathedral has launched a website, Lives Reflected, to commemorate those who have lost loved ones as a result of Covid-19 and the sacrifices and work done across the community at this time.
The site features photographs of those lost and the stories of those who have lost a loved one, as well as those working in the face of the pandemic.
It is open for submissions from anyone in Northern Ireland no matter their background or faith.
Stephen Forde, Dean of Belfast said Lives Reflected had been created to allow reflection and remembrance.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives and livelihoods across our land and across the world,” he said. “But one of the most painful aspects has been upon our grief and grieving.
“In hospital wards, Intensive Care Units, in Nursing Homes and in family homes lives have been lost directly to Covid 19, and many more lives have been lost within the necessary restrictions that our communities have followed to restrict the spread of the disease.”
The website has direct submission forms to leave a photograph with a memorial or contribute a story.
“Your tribute placed within our on-line Book of Remembrance will allow you to share your memory of someone special in a precious and respectful place,” said Dean Forde. “Alternatively, you may wish to share a longer personal story of the impact of the pandemic upon your life, or the life of someone special to you.”
The affect of the loss of someone without the traditional norms of society was noted by the dean.
“So much which helps us in the final days of the life of someone we love, know or care about has been denied to us: a hand held close, a whispered final farewell, a prayer breathed,” he said. “We have not been able to gather together to share memories and tears.
“We have even been restricted in how we can gather for funerals. Each of these denials has added to our grief and made healing more difficult.
“For others, lives have been impacted in very different ways. Those who have worked in hospitals and care homes have faced immense pressures. And from teachers and to shop workers, ambulance crews to delivery drivers, everyone’s working lives have been turned upside down.
“While for others home working and home schooling, short term working or the reality of redundancy has radically changed personal lives and circumstances.”
Dean Forde said that whilst a website it is a place to remember and reflect, to share and to find healing, a gift offered to everyone from within the community of Belfast Cathedral.
You can visit Lives Reflected, and leave your tribute or story here: www.livesreflected.com/