Lytham Covid widow backs National Grief Awareness Week

Paul and Jacky on their wedding day in 1981

A Lytham widow is backing a national campaign in order to make the losing of a loved one easier to talk about.

Jacky Ramsden, 64, lost her husband Paul, 80, to Covid 19 – the first person to die of the virus in Blackpool Victoria Hospital – in March.

Jacky is taking part in National Grief Awareness Week, December 2-8, 2020 and she feels that there has never been a more poignant time for the Fylde coast to come together to support those who have lost loved ones especially in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Jacky said: “2020 has been a particularly difficult year for anyone losing a loved one.

“Paul was always very fit so it was a shock to see how the virus took hold. Due to Covid restrictions, I couldn’t visit Paul in hospital nor could I be at his side when he passed away.

“The funeral was very limited and not the celebration that he deserved and then I, like many others, had to cope with bereavement in isolation. Everything had to be arranged by phone and email. I even had to drive myself to the funeral and back again and had to be at home alone.”

Grief Awareness week is a national event is driven by the Good Grief Trust, the UK’s leading umbrella charity, bringing all UK bereavement services, support organisations and helplines together and aims to raise awareness of the impact of grief and loss on a national platform.

Loss and grief affects all of us during our lifetimes, but many of us still find it difficult to engage in conversations about it, including asking for or providing help. National Grief Week aims to highlight the services and help that are available.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Lead Cancer and End Of Life Care Nurse, Jackie Brunton, said: “In this special week, we are encouraging all staff and their families and friends to take a moment to reflect on what’s going on around them and to engage in conversations around loss and the support available for all who have lost a loved one.

“We want our Fylde coast community to unite across the week and join us in some of our local events and follow us and the Good Grief Trust on Facebook and Twitter and share stories using the hashtag  #shareyourstory.

“This year above any before, there is a need to raise awareness of the impact of grief. Many of those bereaved through this pandemic have felt alone and isolated in their grief throughout the months of lockdown.”

The public can show their support by lighting a candle or displaying a light in a window throughout the week. There are also special local events to get involved in:

  • Blue Skies Hospital Fund Tree of Lights and Book of Remembrance Service


  • Trinity Hospice Light up a Life service.


  • Participation on social media by remembering loved ones using the hashtag #ShareYourStory.


  • Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the Windmills at Lytham and Marton will be lit yellow as a symbol of togetherness.


Nationally, St Pauls Cathedral and other landmarks around the county including: Media City UK, Town Hall, Cathedrals, Lighthouses and bridges will be lit, as a beacon of hope to all those in need of help.


Jacky added: “We need to start with children explaining about death perhaps through the loss of pets. We need to get rid of the taboo surrounding loss.

“I am lucky in that I have support from friends and neighbours through this difficult time, but not everyone does. So many people this year have not been able to say goodbye properly.

“This local support for National Grief Awareness Week allows us, our families and our friends to remember our loved ones, celebrate their lives and look to the future with hope and light.”


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