Ed Sheeran song Supermarket Flowers to be used in TV ad campaign
- Credit: PA
A song by Suffolk's Ed Sheeran about his late grandmother will be used in a TV advertising campaign to remember those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pop superstar's track, Supermarket Flowers, was donated free to accompany a 60-second film which uses the possessions of people and families to highlight their loss.
The campaign, launched by charity Marie Curie, is urging the nation to 'take a moment to reflect and a moment to connect'.
The charity is organising a national day of reflection on March 23 - the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown.
It will include a minute's silence at midday followed by a bell toll, and people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a "beacon of remembrance".
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Prominent buildings and landmarks will also be lit up across the UK.
More than 100 care organisations, charities, businesses, membership organisations, emergency services, public sector bodies and community groups are supporting the idea.
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Ed's beloved granny died in 2016 when he was on a hiatus from music, and he visited her in hospital in the months leading up to her death.
"I was lucky enough not to be on tour during my grandmother's final months, and because I lived locally I was able to visit her every few days," he wrote in Adam Kay's book Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You.
"The care she received was incredible; the people who worked there so lovely, compassionate, funny and caring.
"When she passed away I wrote a song called Supermarket Flowers about the situation. The verse lyrics are about packing up her room at that hospital."
The song, which featured on the singer's 2017 album Divide, was last year among the top ten most played at funerals in the UK.
Matthew Reed, Marie Curie chief executive, said: "Possessions can be powerful reminders of the people we have loved and lost, as well as helping us in our grieving process.
"A person's clothing, personal items, books, plants, letters, empty chair - anything really - can come to symbolise them after they're gone and can keep their memory alive, and that's something to cherish right now.
"We need to take a moment to mark the huge amount of loss we've seen in the past 12 months and show support for everyone who has been bereaved - be that from Covid or any other cause.
"Many people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened. But there is an overwhelming need to come together, to remember, to grieve, to celebrate."